From Bloomberg

Morocco has yet to decide whether to build its first terminal for importing liquefied natural gas or use a cheaper floating LNG facility in a strategy to reduce imports of oil and coal, according to Energy and Mines Minister Aziz Rabbah.

Officials are studying whether to seek bids for the construction of a land-based LNG terminal at the western port of Jorf Lasfar, Rabbah said Monday in an interview in the city of Marrakech. A cheaper and quicker alternative would be for Morocco to rent a floating storage and regasification unit to turn imported LNG into gas to use as fuel to generate electricity.

“That is being debated now, whether we should opt for FSRUs instead of an onshore facility,” he said.

Natural gas plays a central role in Morocco’s 2030 energy plan, which calls for more gas-fired power plants and a greater use of solar energy and other renewables. U.K.-based Sound Energy Plc and partners including Schlumberger Ltd. secured a 25-year permit last month to produce and sell gas from the Tendrara region in eastern Morocco.

The LNG project has been delayed partly because of the Tendrara gas discovery, which “bodes well for more significant gas finds in Morocco,” Rabbah said. The government is drafting a gas logistics strategy to incorporate the discovery with plans for a pipeline that would ship gas from Nigeria and the existing Maghreb-Europe link, which send gas from neighboring Algeria through Morocco to parts of Europe, he said.

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