Yamal LNG project on track ship gas late next year, says Novatek official

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - November 16, 2016

In one year, a Yamal liquefied natural gas plant will be loading its first LNG tanker, Novatek leader Leonid Mikhelson told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting earlier this week.

The Novatek chief said that the Yamal LNG project is 68 percent ready and has proceeded in line with the original time schedule and within the frames of the approved budgets, Mikhelson said.

“I believe, in exactly in one year, we will invite you to attend the loading of the first LNG-carrier,” Mikhelson stressed. “The project is progressing excellently,” he added, according to a transcript from the Kremlin.

A total of $27 billion is being invested in the project, of which $13 billion from the shareholders, $4 billion from Russian banks and $12 billion from Chinese banks.

About 650 companies are involved and orders from Russian companies amount to 580 billion rubles, Mikhelson said.

More than 22,000 people now work in Sabetta, the project main hub.

“You have built up a whole new city,” Putin commented.

The Kremlin meeting between Putin and Mikhelson is the second in one year.  Also the Russian federal budget has invested heavily in the project, more than 47 billion rubles in the Sabetta port and adjacent infrastructure.

More than nine million tons of goods have so far been delivered to the Sabetta Port, which is now operational all through the year, the Novatek leader said.

When in full swing, the nearby Yamal LNG plant will produce an annual 16.5 million tons of liquefied gas. The LNG will be shipped to buyers both in Europe and Asia, some of it along the Northern Sea Route.

The Yamal LNG project is operated by Novatek in cooperation with partners Total (20 percent), CNPC (20 percent) and the Silk Road Fund (9.9 percent).