Britain’s Ophir Energy intends to borrow $1.2b from Chinese banks to fund the development of its Fortuna FLNG export project in Equatorial Guinea, Reuters reported.

Ophir Energy’s CEO, Nick Cooper, noted during a conference that the Chinese banks would provide the loan as the Western institutions have not been willing to support the project, Offshore Energy Today informed.

The final investment decision on the Fortuna scheme is expected by the end of June, while the buyer of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the financial structure underpinning the project is planned to be disclosed by the end of May, according to Cooper.

In Africa, the Fortuna FLNG will be the continent’s first deepwater floating liquefaction facility. The facility will have a production capacity of 2.2m tons/y and is expected to commence in 2020.