The first part of an enormous liquid natural gas plant has just been shipped from China to its new home in the Arctic Circle. The part was loaded onto a cargo ship at Daishan manufacturing base in east China's Zhejiang Province on Thursday.
The Chinese company Wison Offshore & Marine (WOM) was commissioned to produce 150,000 tonnes of modules to build the plant.
The shipped piece of the plant weighs 10,000 tonnes and is due to arrive in Murmansk, northwestern Russia in about 25 days if everything goes according to plan.
The section of the new LNG facility is the first of thirteen that will also be shipped out once completed piecemeal. The pieces of the plant will be assembled in the Arctic Circle to form the planned Arctic LNG 2 (ALNG2) Project. Once built this will become the world's largest LNG plant in the Arctic Ocean area.
The planned plant is under development by Russia's largest independent natural gas broker, Novatek.
The new LNG facility will be cited at the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region in western Siberia which is believed to have more than 40 trillion cubic meters of untapped natural gas current reserves. If true, that accounts for somewhere in the region of 85% of Russia's natural gas reserves.
Not only that, but it would constitute around 37% of the world's proven natural gas reserves too.
The final facility will produce millions of tonnes of natural gas every year
All-in-all, the final development will consist of over 200 wells at 19 well drilling pads. Natural gas produced at the field will then be delivered to international markets in a form of liquefied natural gas, or LNG.
This will require the construction of a liquefaction plant consisting of four production trains. To date, three of these have already been completed, according to Novatek.
"The shipping infrastructure includes a jetty with two tanker loading berths at the port of Sabetta equipped with ice protection barriers. Ice-class LNG carriers of special Arc-7 design are used to transport the LNG to international markets," explains Novatek.
As previously mentioned, current plans for the facility are to have three LNG production lines that should, once complete, be able to produce around 6.6 million tonnes of natural gas a year.
Construction of the first piece of the new LNG plant began in late-2019, and it is so large that it requires two ships to transport and deliver it. The second of the thirteen sections began construction in July of 2020 and is expected to take around 20 months to complete.
This time includes the design, procurement of supplies, actual construction time, commissioning, and, of course, loading not delivery vessels.
The entire project is currently projected to be completed by 2026 and is part of a joint venture with Saipem of Italy.