Yamal LNG may reach full capacity in 2018

The joint project of Novatek and Chinese and French investors in the Russian Arctic can reach the planned capacity of gas production already in 2018.
NOVATEK is going to introduce the remaining two Yamal LNG lines in August and December, respectively, as a result, the plant may reach its full design capacity as early as 2018, one year ahead of schedule. The head of the company Leonid Mikhelson noted that due to earlier launch the project will additionally produce about 8 million tons of liquefied gas.

NOVATEK plans to launch a second LNG production line with a design capacity of 5.5 million tons per year at the Yamal LNG plant in early August, Leonid Mikhelson, head of the company, told reporters in China. According to him, the third line of the project can be launched in early 2019. This means the next acceleration of the timing of input. Previously, NOVATEK planned to launch the second line in the fourth quarter of 2018, the third - in mid-2019. As Mr. Mikhelson noted, an earlier launch will allow the project to additionally produce about 8 million tonnes of LNG relative to the original plan. The first line of Yamal LNG was launched on December 8, 2017.

"We were going to enter the second line at the end of 2018 and the third line in late 2019. But if we enter the third line on January 1 (2019 - Kommersant), this is plus 5.5 million tons, if we introduce a second line four months ahead of schedule, this is another plus of 2.5-3 million tons. over planned we will sell about 8 million tons, "Leonid Mikhelson said (quoted by TASS).

Yamal LNG is a project for the production of liquefied gas based on the Yuzhno-Tambeyskoye field in the Yamal Peninsula. The design capacity is 16.5 million tons of LNG, and another 1.5 million tons of condensate. Shareholders of the project - NOVATEK (50.1%), Chinese CNPC (20%) and SRF (9.9%), French Total (20%).

Leonid Mikhelson and Energy Minister Alexander Novak flew to China on Monday evening to attend the arrival of the tankers Vladimir Rusanov and Eduard Tolle at the local port of Jiangsu Zhudong. This is the first direct delivery of LNG from Yamal to the Chinese market, as well as the first delivery to the Northern Sea Route in an easterly direction - the ships passed the eastern route through the Bering Strait and reached the Chinese port in 19 days. This is twice as fast as using an alternative route around Eurasia through the Suez Canal and the Malacca Strait (35 days), NOVATEK said.

The use of the Northern Sea Route makes it possible to shorten the delivery time and transportation costs, which is of key importance for the development of our fields in Yamal and Gydan, "Leonid Mikhelson said.

He stressed that the savings on transportation through the Northern Sea Route in comparison with the route through Suez is up to $ 2 to MBTU (approximately $ 70 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas).

Leonid Mikhelson also said that NOVATEK is in talks with Chinese investors not only about participating in the next LNG project Arctic LNG, but also on joint investments in China. Mr. Mikhelson confirmed that the company is discussing participation in the creation of receiving LNG terminals in China. He also said that NOVATEK is conducting "preliminary talks" about participating in projects on the side of consumption in China, for example, in generating electricity.