Angola LNG operating at reduced rates, tenders withdrawn

(Reuters) - Angola's only liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, Angola LNG, has recently cancelled tenders due to production issues at its plant, trading sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

The company has cancelled two sell tenders that were due to close on March 22 and 27 for April cargoes because of issues at the plant, the sources said.

"The plant experienced a pressure surge in the loading line and is currently operating at reduced rates. Upcoming tenders have been withdrawn while this is being investigated," the company's spokesperson told Reuters.

Analysts and trading sources expected it would take at least one month to return to full capacity.

Angola’s Soyo plant, which has a capacity of 5.2 million tons of LNG per year, exported around 7.59 million cubic meters (mcm) in 2022, of which 4.8 mcm went to Europe, according to data and analytics group Kpler.

The outage comes at a time where Europe is enjoying exceptionally mild winter, high inventory levels and reduced industrial demand.

"Angola LNG has been sending the vast majority of its output to Europe over the past year, primarily to France, the UK, the Netherlands and Spain," said Leo Kabouche, LNG market analyst at research consultancy Energy Aspects

"With the continued lack of demand from major Northeast Asian buyers and the approach of the shoulder season (between summer and winter peak demand), the impact on Dutch TTF hub near-term prices is likely to be limited," he added.

The plant, on Angola's northwest coast, has been selling all of its LNG via competitive tenders into the spot market, partly because the plant’s original plan to ship LNG to the United States fell through following the U.S. shale gas boom.

Chevron is the largest stakeholder in the Angolan project, with partners that include TotalEnergies, BP, ENI and Angola’s Sonangol.

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