Algeria’s Sonatrach says new Skikda jetty gets first large LNG carrier

Algeria’s Sonatrach has received the first large liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier at the new jetty in Skikda.

According to a statement by Sonatrach, the 2017-built 171,800-cbm, Ougarta, owned by Sonatrach’s unit Hyproc Shipping, docked at the new “M3” jetty in Skikda on March 9.

The firm conducted high-level tests to ensure that the Skikda port is ready to receive ships efficiently and safely after the expansion of the port.

This achievement reflects Sonatrach’s keenness to increase the loading and unloading capacities at the port of Skikda, it said.

Back in 2019, Sonatrach awarded a contract to China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) to build the LNG jetty to optimize the Skikda LNG complex’s production and allow the loading of large-capacity LNG carriers with a capacity of up to 220,000 cbm.

Besides the new jetty, Sonatrach awarded a contract in February 2022 to units of China’s state-controlled giant Sinopec to build one storage tank at its 4.5 mtpa Skikda LNG export plant.

Under this deal, the Chinese group built a new LNG storage tank with a nominal capacity of 150,000 cbm at the Skikda GL1K liquefaction complex.

Prior to this, the contractor dismantled two existing tanks.

The deal also included the supply and installation of equipment for the connection of the storage tank to the LNG loading system of the new Skikda jetty.

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

The Arzew facility has in total three trains and they have a total capacity of about 20.8 mtpa, but the plant has been operating below its capacity.

Last year, Sontrach extended its LNG supply deal with France’s TotalEnergies for 2 mtpa.

In addition, the company also extended its LNG supply deal with Turkey’s Botas for about 3.2 mtpa.

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