Qatargas inaugurates delayed, two-train project

Warren R. True
OGJ Chief Technology Editor-LNG/Gas Processing

HOUSTON, Apr. 6 -- Qatargas has inaugurated its much-delayed 15.6 tonne/year Qatargas 2 in a ceremony in Ras Laffan City, the industrial complex north of Doha that has grown up around the country's LNG export industry.

The inauguration follows delivery last month of the project's first cargo, carried by the 210,000-cu m Q-Flex vessel Tembek, to the new South Hook terminal at Milford Haven, UK.

Qatargas 2 originally was to have produced its first cargo in late 2007, but mechanical problems and labor difficulties slowed its progress, according to press reports.

The project, according to Qatargas, is the world's "first fully integrated value chain LNG venture." It consists of three offshore unmanned platforms, two of the world's largest LNG trains, each capable of producing 7.8 million tonnes/year, 850,000 tpy of LPG, 140,000 b/d of condensate, five 145,000 cu m storage tanks, and a fleet of 14 Q-Flex and Q-Max ships. Vessels in the latter category can carry upwards of 266,000 cu m of LNG.

Qatargas 2 consists of Trains 4 and 5; each employs Air Product's proprietary APX process technology. It was LNG produced from Train 4 that arrived at the South Hook for use in commissioning the terminal. Ownership in Train 4 is split between Qatar Petroleum (70%) and ExxonMobil Corp. (30%). Train 5 is owned by Qatar Petroleum (65%), ExxonMobil (18.3%), and Total SA (16.7%).

Total was a late comer to the project, buying into the project in late 2006. Total also holds 8.35% in the South Hook. QP holds 67.5% and ExxonMobil 24.15%.

Located in West Pembrokeshire in Wales, the terminal is the largest LNG receiving terminal in Europe, according to Qatargas, with capacity of 15.6 million tpy and employing the largest diameter storage tanks in the world. South Hook's sendout will be able to meet up to 20% of current UK natural gas demand, according to project sponsors.

Contact Warren R. True at warrant@ogjonline.com.

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