UFG participates in liquefaction plants at Damietta and Qalhat
UFG is active in natural gas liquefaction through its interest in the processing and production plants at Damietta, in Egypt, and at Qalhat in the Sultanate of Oman.
UFG decided to invest in the development and implementation of the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Egypt as a fundamental and strategic pillar of its commitment to have a presence in all stages of the natural gas chain.
For Egypt, by joining the select group of countries exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), this project represented an historic step and a milestone for the Egyptian energy sector.
UFG, through its 80% holding in its subsidiary SEGAS (Spanish Egyptian Gas Company), was responsible for the construction and operation of the plant in Damietta. The remaining 20% belongs to the Egyptian State Companies EGPC (Egyptian General Petroleum Company) and EGAS (Egyptian Natural Gas Holding).
The plant is located on the Mediterranean coast, at the city of Damietta, about 60 km northwest of Port Said. The strategic location of the plant in Damietta, near the Suez Canal, makes it very attractive for serving the principal gas markets: Europe, America and the Far East.
The nominal capacity of the liquefaction processing rate is 7.56 bcm per year (equivalent to 5.5 Mtpa of LNG), with an efficiency exceeding 90%, which amounts to an availability of 6.8 bcm of natural gas per year marketable as LNG.
The LNG is stored in two tanks of 150,000 m3 capacity, at slightly above atmospheric pressure and a temperature of -160 °C. Under these conditions, the natural gas density increases considerably (600 m3 of natural gas in gaseous state is transformed into 1m3 of LNG). These storage tanks are equipped with systems for the recovery of the gas (boil-off gas) which evaporates during the processes of storage and loading of ships, which return it to the plant.
The location and design of the plant facilitate the placement of more LNG processing and production lines, allowing the use of common facilities such as the LNG carrier jetty and storage tanks.
The jetty was designed and constructed to permit loading and unloading of ships with a cargo capacity range from 40,000 to 200,000 m3.
The technology used for the liquefaction process is from APCI (Air Products & Chemicals Inc.). The plant is comprised of the processing and liquefaction units, as well as all the services for self-supply of electricity (125 MW -5 gas turbines) and sea-water treatment for all uses in the plant.
Construction of the plant began in March 2002, with production starting in late November 2004. January 2005 saw the first shipment of liquefied natural gas bound for the regasification plant in Huelva (Spain).
The second gas liquefaction plant in which UFG has an interest is Qalhat LNG (QLNG) with 7.36% of the capital, the majority shareholder being the Government of the Sultanate of Oman. This plant complements and strengthens the business structure of UFG.
UFG gets 50% of the total production of this liquefaction plant, which corresponds to 2.2 bcm per year. The purchase agreement signed with the Government of the Sultanate of Oman began in 2006 and is valid for a term of 20 years.
The liquefaction line went into operation on 13 November 2005 and, a month later, the first LNG cargo left port aboard the tanker Nizwa bound for the regasification plant in Barcelona.
The liquefaction line has a nominal capacity of 4.4 bcm per year (3.30 Mtpa of LNG). Both the construction period of the plant and the time period between the start of commissioning, and the first production of LNG (13 days) were world records in the development of such facilities.