BP’s flagship Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) liquefied natural gas project in Senegal and Mauritania is on course to start-up in the third quarter of 2023, with floating LNG vessel contractor Golar LNG revealing its contract will begin in the following quarter.

The vessel was originally due on stream in 2022, but Covid forced the operator to declare force majeure last year and push back start-up to early 2023, with further slippage since then.

In a presentation at the DNB Energy & Shipping Conference, Golar LNG said the Gimi FLNG vessel, which is under conversion at Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine, is now 80% technically complete.

With 20% of the work remaining, it noted that sail away of the 2.5 million tonnes per annum vessel from the Lion City shipyard is scheduled in the first quarter of 2023, with Golar LNG’s contract now due to start only in the fourth quarter of next year.

Black & Veatch is the topsides contractor working alongside Keppel Shipyard.

Once the FLNG unit starts work offshore West Africa, it is expected to add $151 million in annual incremental adjusted Ebitda to Golar LNG’s top line.

Phase one of the greenfield GTA project will see gas and condensate sent from an ultra-deepwater subsea production system to a floating production, storage and offloading vessel, which is being built by Cosco in China.

The FPSO will process the well fluids, with the gas exported via a 35-kilometre pipeline to a near shore gas complex, which includes a breakwater that will provide shelter to the Gimi FLNG vessel.

Last month, France’s Eiffage completed the installation of the breakwater, with work now under way to wrap up fabrication and installation of utilities, accommodation and other facilities behind the protective barrier.

BP is also working on a phase two scheme at GTA that carries a price tag of less than $1 billion and that, potentially, could involve a second 2.5 million tpa FLNG vessel provided by Golar LNG.

GTA straddles the maritime boundary between Mauritania and Senegal, with BP’s partners being Kosmos Energy and the state-owned companies of the two countries.

* This article has been corrected to reflect that the GTA project has not been delayed, but remains on schedule.

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