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Putin inaugurates massive Arctic LNG refinery

IANS | Sabetta (Russia) |

The Russian President inaugurated on Friday a massive Liquefied Natural Gas refinery in the Arctic, one of the largest LNG refineries in the world.

President Vladímir Putin, travelled to the Yamal Peninsula in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug of northwest Siberia, inside the Arctic circle, to inaugurate the gigantic Yamal Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) refinery, Efe news reported.

From the port of Sabetta, Putin watched the first LNG shipment being pumped on to the world’s first icebreaker LNG carrier ship, the “Arc7 Christophe de Margerie” with a capacity of 170,000 cubic meters. The ARC 7 is the first icebreaker LNG carrier ship out of a planned LNG carrier fleet of 15.

Also present at the ceremony were representatives of the project’s international corporate partners.

“This first LNG cargo is a testament to the tremendous efforts of the project partners, contractors and all parties who managed to deliver Yamal LNG on time and on budget. Together we managed to build from scratch a world-class LNG project in extreme conditions to exploit the vast gas resources of the Yamal peninsula,? said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman, and CEO of Total.

The project is expected to cost $27 billion and is jointly owned by Russia’s Novatek (50.1 per cent), France’s Total (20 per cent), China’s CNPC (20 per cent) and the Silk Road Fund (9.9 per cent).

Yamal LNG aims to tap into northwest Siberia’s enormous natural gas reserves, accounting for 84 per cent of Russia’s total natural gas, and, once fully operational will double Russia’s share in the growing global LNG market.

Spain’s Gas Natural Fenosa corporation was also invited as the first European company to sign a contract for the supply of Yamal’s LNG.

The Yamal LNG plant will ultimately have three refinery trains with a total capacity of 16.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year. The first train is now operational and the other two will be ready by 2018 and 2019 respectively, supplying Asian and European markets.

Apart from the LNG plant, the project includes a seaport, an airport and a 282 MW power plant built by Technopromexport, whose turbines will be supplied by Siemens and is expected to become operational by 2018.

The primary export market for LNG will be China and LNG will be shipped to Asian markets through the Northeast Passage.