Algeria's giant LNG plant to start up this year
Algiers, February 25, 2014
Algeria will start up a new plant to liquefy natural gas (LNG) this year, with a annual capacity of 6 billion cubic metres, Energy and Mines Minister Youcef Yousfi told a state news agency.
The Opec member and gas producer, which aims to bolster production in its lagging energy sector, earlier this year started production from a new LNG unit at the eastern town of Skikda.
"A new unit is expected to come online this year, with the same capacity," Yousfi told state news agency APS.
He appeared to be referring to a unit that has been under construction in the western town of Arzew.
Yousfi also said the In Amenas gas plant, hit by Islamist militants attack early last year, would resume full production in months.
Last month, the minister said he expected the plant to fully restart "within weeks".
The plant is currently producing 20 million cubic metres per day out of a total capacity of 30 million cubic metres.
BP, Norway's Statoil and state-owned Sonatrach jointly operate the facility, in which 40 workers died during the attack.
BP and Statoil have withdrawn their staff since the assault, demanding better security conditions, though Algerian officials say they have met all demands for improved protection.
"Specific measures have been taken to prevent such a tragedy from happening again in the future and provide partners with maximum assurance regarding the safety of their personnel," Yousfi said on Monday.
Separately, the APS reported that Algeria on Monday started production from a new gas processing plant with a total capacity of 3.6 billion cubic metres per year.
The Gassi Touil plant will be supplied from 42 wells out of 52 planned, it said, citing unnamed official at the Sonatrach at a ceremony at the plant in the southern province of Ourgla.-Reuters