Algeria’s Sonatrach resumes Skikda LNG production

Algerian state energy firm Sonatrach said it has restarted its Skikda LNG export plant following a technical issue at the facility.

Sonatrach said in a statement the facility resumed production on July 30 after a 45-day-long closure.

During the closure, Sonatrach has completed repair works on a gas turbine and maintenance planned for 2022, it said.

The firm previously said the shutdown was caused by “a sudden failure of a gas turbine control mechanism.”

Sonatrach added that the shutdown did not affect LNG deliveries to its customers as it provided the fuel from its three other units located at the Arzew facility.

To remind, the firm said last year it had to repair and replace some damaged parts on one of the 14 gas turbines at Skikda’s 4 mtpa LNG train. The incident with the turbine occurred after a maintenance shutdown.

The company said then replacing the entire turbine would have resulted in delaying the restart for more than 16 months.

Algeria became the world’s first LNG producer in 1964 when Sonatrach’s Arzew facility came online.

According to GIIGNL data, Algeria has currently about 25.3 mtpa operational LNG export capacity at Arzew and Skikda.

Algeria exported only 10.58 million tonnes during last year sending the fuel mainly to Turkey, France, and Italy, the data shows.

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