Yemen LNG to start deliveries this summer

Yemen LNG will lift its first cargo in midyear, with operations starting by the summer, according to Yves-Louis Darricarrere, president of E&P at Total, a shareholder in the project.

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

DOHA, Apr. 8 -- Yemen LNG will lift its first cargo in midyear, with operations starting by the summer, according to Yves-Louis Darricarrere, president of exploration and production at Total SA, a shareholder in the project.

The $4 billion Yemen LNG project is several months behind schedule due to technical problems and shortage of labor.

With a capacity of 6.7 million tonnes/year from two trains, it will provide cargoes to Asia Pacific and Atlantic Basin markets for its primary customers in North America and South Korea and potentially will add new customers in the future as the second train will start operations during the third quarter. Current capacity is sold out.

The company has chartered the 294.6 m Seri Balqis vessel for the lifespan of the project. It was built at the Mitsubishi shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan. Yemen LNG has completed hydrotesting both tanks, the company said.

Another three ships, Seri Balhaf, Maersk Arwa, and Maersk Marib, which have the latest maritime technology and can withstand the elements of the high seas, also are dedicated to this project.

Seri Balqis can carry 154,600 cu m of LNG and will transport the LNG to the North American market and its long term buyer Total Gas & Power. Other buyers are Suez and Kogas.

Feedstock gas for the liquefaction plant will come from Block 18 in the Marib area. It will be delivered via a new 320-km, 38-in. main pipeline to the liquefaction facilities in Balhaf (OGJ Online, Oct. 10, 2005). A spur line will extend to transport domestic gas to the Ma'bar area in central Yemen. Gas started flowing to the site on Nov. 19, 2008, for power generation initially, then for plant commissioning, and startup. The site will also have two 140,000-cu m LNG storage tanks, and desalination, waste water, and steam generation plants.

This is the country's largest-ever industrial investment, from which the government expects to earn $30-50 billion over the next 20-25 years. The liquefaction plant at Balhaf is on the Shabwah coast 200 km southwest of Mukalla and 400 km east of Aden.

Shareholders are Total with 39.62%, Hunt with 17.22%, Yemen Gas Co. 16.73%, SK Corp. 9.55%, Kogas 6%, Hyundai 5.88%, and the General Authority of Social Security and Pensions 5%.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com

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