05 June 2013, Luanda – Angola’s long-delayed liquefied natural gas, LNG, plant has finally started production and the first cargo is due to be exported later this month, a senior Total executive said.
“We have LNG flowing into the tanks at our Angola LNG plant, and we expect the first cargo in June,” Philippe Sauquet, CEO of Total Gas and Power told Reuters on the sidelines of a gas conference in Oslo.
The plant, beset by 18-month delays caused by technical failures, suffered a setback in April after a fire occurred at the plant just hours before production was due to begin.
The first shipment from the project has already been sold and is expected to be delivered by state-run Sonangol to either Brazil or Portugal, according to one trade source.
The Sonangol Sambizanga, which is due to make the delivery, is currently moored at Angola’s LNG production facility in Soyo.
“Angola will produce the first and probably a second cargo before a shutdown for routine inspection,” another trade source said.
“Official start is due to be early to mid-August,” he added.
US oil major Chevron operates the project with a 36.4 percent shareholding, while Sonangol has a 22.8 percent stake. Other Angola LNG stakeholders include Total, BP and ENI with 13.6 percent each.