GE Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of US group General Electric, has entered into a multi-year contract with ENI East Africa, a subsidiary of Italian group ENI, for the supply of natural gas extraction solutions and equipment in northern Mozambique, the GE group said in a statement.

This contract focuses on the Coral Sul FLNG project and represents the first phase of the development plans developed by ENI East Africa to explore the natural gas deposits in the Rovuma Basin Area 4 block.

The agreement reached between the parties covers future projects and includes a separate contract valid for five years for the maintenance of the undersea infrastructure, plus an option of another five years and five three-year extensions.

The Coral Sul FLNG project involves a floating platform with an annual processing capacity of 3.4 million tonnes of natural gas, powered by six subsea wells that are expected to produce up to 5.0 trillion cubic feet of gas, with the start of operations scheduled for mid-2022.

The GE group said this is Mozambique’s first deepwater natural gas extraction project, “which should provide economic benefits through the creation of jobs and energy production that the region needs.”

ENI East Africa is the operator of the Area 4 block, with a 70% stake and its current shareholders are ENI with 71.43% and China National Petroleum Corporation with the remaining 28.57%.

The ENI group recently agreed with the ExxonMobil Group to sell half of its stake in ENI East Africa, and the deal is still pending approval from several regulators in Mozambique and abroad.