Congo-Brazzaville, a major focus of Eni’s plan to move away from Russian gas

By Maureen Songne
Posted on Thursday, 11 August 2022 15:40, updated on Friday, 12 August 2022 11:38

Italian oil giant Eni’s headquarters in Rome, © Arbitraggio/Fotogramma/ROPI-REA

Developing renewable energies, structuring an agricultural sector, biorefinery...In Congo-Brazzaville, Claudio Descalzi, CEO of the Italian multinational oil and gas company Eni, gave substance to the Congolese gas export project, which will be implemented in 2023.

Unveiled in April, the oil major Eni-Congo’s plan to increase its gas production is becoming clearer. Following a meeting with President Denis Sassou N’Guesso, Claudio Descalzi, chairman and CEO of the Italian company Eni, made important announcements on 2 August in Brazzaville.

“We took stock of the gas export project for which we had signed an agreement. It will start in the fourth quarter of 2023 and will eventually give the Congo the possibility of exporting nearly 4.5 billion tonnes of cubic metres of gas,” Descalzi told the press, adding that, within the framework of this “dynamic” cooperation, several dossiers in line with the 2022-2026 National Development Plan were emerging.

“We discussed the agricultural project, especially oil production for the biorefineries. This project, which has already started, will be carried out in several stages. The aim is to produce around 31,000 tonnes of oil in 2023, 60,000 tonnes in 2024, and 150,000 tonnes in 2025. We have started training farmers and signing contracts with them,” Descalzi said.

Increasing the number of strategic alliances

As part of the signing of the agreement on the gas export project, Brazzaville and Eni Congo agreed in April on the definition of “decarbonisation initiatives to promote sustainable energy transition in Congo.” This will involve developing renewable energies and an agricultural sector (not competing with the food sector) dedicated to producing raw materials necessary for biorefining. This decision follows the signing, in October 2021, of a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop the country’s biofuel sector, which sets the framework for the industrial production of castor oil to supply Eni’s biorefineries.

On 29 June, while presenting its results, Eni also reaffirmed its desire to increase the number of “strategic alliances” capable of guaranteeing Italy and Europe other sources of supply, amid a context of dependence on Russian gas. In fact, the initiatives are designed to provide, by 2025, the entire 20 billion cubic metres of gas that Russia delivers to Italy annually.

After signing new supply agreements with Algeria, Egypt and Congo-Brazzaville, the Italian major announced that opportunities could still arise in Libya, Angola, Mozambique and Indonesia.

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