Strategic Alliance with Socar Trading S.A. to provide gas to Benin, Togo and Ghana

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20 December, 2012

Gasol plc, the West African energy development company, is pleased to announce the signing of a strategic alliance agreement with Socar Trading S.A. ("STSA") in relation to its proposed LNG Import Project in Benin (the "Project"). STSA is the international marketing and development arm of SOCAR, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, which is one of the largest companies in the world.

Key Points:

  • Alliance represents a major step towards bringing gas to constrained Benin, Togo and Ghana
  • Access to LNG, a storage and regasification vessel and STSA's development expertise
  • Opportunity to supply LNG to a significant growth market
  • New implemented strategy takes effect

Under the terms of the strategic alliance, STSA will supply all Liquefied Natural Gas ("LNG") required for the Project and assist Gasol with the provision of a floating gas storage and regasification vessel in the harbour at Cotonou, Benin. The Project involves the regasification of LNG and the supply of that gas to power and industrial customers in Benin, Togo and Ghana. The strategic alliance is a key development for Gasol, as it ensures the supply of LNG and the storage and regasification vessel on competitive terms, important components in putting the Project together. It also allows STSA to leverage its LNG capability to support Gasol's project and to build its presence in West Africa.

Alan Buxton, Chief Operating Officer at Gasol, said: "Our alliance with STSA represents a major step towards our goal of bringing gas to Benin, Togo and Ghana, which remain significantly gas constrained in their power plants and industries. In line with the Board's new strategy, the strategic alliance with STSA provides Gasol with access to LNG and a storage and regasification vessel, but just as importantly, STSA's experience in the development of such projects. STSA's expertise and experience will, I am sure, provide significant assurance to the lenders to our LNG Import Project."

Hayal Ahmadzada, Head of Oil Trading at STSA, said: "We are delighted to be working with Gasol to help them unlock the value of their Benin LNG Import Project. Creating this strategic alliance allows STSA the opportunity to supply LNG to a market where we see significant growth over the short to medium term and positions us well in the region to capitalize on that growth."

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