Yamal LNG Starts Production at 3rd Train a Year Ahead of Plan

Yamal LNG, a joint venture liquefied natural gas production project in Sabetta, has commenced initial production of LNG at the plant’s third train, Russian gas company Novatek, majority shareholder in the JV, said.

The total nameplate capacity of all three LNG trains is 16.5 mmtpa, or 5.5 mmtpa per LNG train.

“We have successfully launched all three LNG trains at our flagship Yamal LNG project according to our revised early launch schedule clearly confirming the uniqueness of Yamal LNG in the global LNG industry,” Novatek’s Chairman of Management Board, Leonid Mikhelson, said.

Mikhelson added that the third LNG train started production more than one year ahead of the planned original schedule, an “unprecedented” achievement for the industry, which is plagued by massive cost overruns and project delays.

“We have transformed Novatek into a global gas player and obtained the unique experience of design and construction of Arctic LNG projects. We will use this experience implementing our future LNG projects in this prolific hydrocarbon resource basin. The innovative fourth LNG train at Yamal LNG will be based on Novatek’s proprietary liquefaction technology called “Arctic Cascade” and will utilize Russian-manufactured equipment,” he pointed out.

The joint venture project is owned by Novatek (50.1%), Total (20%), CNPC (20%) and Silk Road Fund (9.9%).

Launched in late 2013, Yamal LNG leverages the immense onshore gas resources of Russia’s Yamal Peninsula. It envisages nearly 16.5 million metric tons of LNG to transit through the port of Sabetta per annum, with all LNG production sold to customers in Europe and Asia under 15- to 20-year contracts.

Shipping LNG in such extreme weather conditions ushered in a new vessel design: the LNG ice-breaker tanker. Measuring 300 meters and boasting a capacity of 172,600 cubic meters, the ships can sail in ice of up to 2.1 meters thick, allowing them to transport LNG all year long without the assistance of ice breakers. A total of 15 LNG ice-breakers are scheduled to be commissioned between now and 2019.