Algeria’s Sonatrach shuts Skikda LNG export terminal

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

“A technical issue occurred on June 11 at the Skikda LNG complex and led to the shutdown of this complex,” Sonatrach said in a statement released on June 19.

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

As a safety precaution, Sonatrach said it has decided to conduct a thorough inspection in order to carry out the necessary repairs.

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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