Rasgas awards ENI unit Qatar LNG plant expansion

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 8 -- Ras Laffan Liquefied Gas Co. Ltd. II (Rasgas II) has awarded a turnkey contract for the fourth train at the Ras Laffan LNG complex to Italian firm Snamprogetti SPA, ENI SPA's engineering and main contracting company.

The fourth LNG train, which Snamprogetti will build in joint venture with Japanese companies Chiyoda Corp. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd., will produce 4.7 million tonnes/year of LNG when it is completed in 2005. The JV partners will provide detailed engineering, procurement, and complete construction services at the complex, which lies 50 miles from Doha on the northeast coast of Qatar.

Rasgas's plant expansion is in line with Qatar's revised 2010 LNG production target of 40 million tonnes/year, revised up from 30 million tonnes/year of LNG. Additional tankers also have been ordered for increased delivery of LNG, which is processed from natural gas produced from Qatar's giant North field (OGJ Online, Nov. 5, 2002). In 2001, Qatar was the world's fourth largest LNG exporter, at 11.5%, trailing Indonesia, Algeria, and Malaysia. However, Qatari output has increased substantially in 2002 (OGJ, Aug. 12, 2002, p. 56).

The Ras Laffan complex contains two existing LNG trains, which together produce 6.6 million tonnes/year of LNG, and a third train Snamprogetti is currently developing under a contract awarded in April 2001. When completed in 2004, the third train also will have 4.7 million tonnes/year LNG capacity, making the third and fourth trains the two largest LNG trains currently being built.

Rasgas II is a partnership of Qatar General Petroleum Corp. 70% and an ExxonMobil Corp. affiliate Mobil QM Gas Inc. 30%.

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