Italian energy firm Eni says its Damietta liquefaction plant in Egypt has already produced enough LNG to load its first cargo since 2012.
The 5 mtpa plant located on the Mediterranean coast, about 60 km northwest of Port Said, has been idle since November 2012, but a recent deal between Egypt, Eni, and Naturgy allowed for the restart of the facility.
Following Naturgy’s departure, Eni owns 50 percent in SEGAS, the owner of the liquefaction plant, while the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) owns 40 percent, and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) holds 10 percent.
“Damietta plant has restarted during the month of January. It has already produced enough LNG quantities to load the first cargo in the very next few days,” Alessandro Puliti, Eni’s COO, natural resources, told analysts during the firm’s fourth-quarter conference call on Friday.
In addition, Eni plans to have the plant in production throughout the year, “especially clearly during the winter period, 2021-2022, and also in the winter 2022-2023.”
“And it will contribute to certainly increase our ability to export LNG and indirectly to the production from Zohr that has already reached a record level during the beginning of February of 3.2 Bcf per day,” Puliti said.
The Damietta plant originally started production back in 2004 with the first cargo leaving in January 2005.
It consists of a single train, jetty, and two LNG storage tanks with a capacity of 300,000 cbm.
The facility stopped operations in 2012 due to declining domestic production, but new finds such as Eni’s giant Zohr field in the East Mediterranean allowed the partners to restart the plant.
Besides the Damietta LNG facility, Egypt also has the Shell-operated Egyptian LNG facilities, located at Idku.