Russian independent gas producer Novatek is readying a plan to add a liquefied natural gas train next to the existing four-train Yamal LNG plant in the port of Sabetta on West Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula, according to a report in Moscow.

The plan is seen as a response to increasing demand for LNG that can be delivered at low shipping cost to markets in Asia-Pacific and Europe because of current supply pressures and a longer term view of gas as a transition fuel during the global shift toward lower carbon emissions.

According to Moscow business daily Kommersant, the proposed train will be built in a Novatek-managed specialised yard near the port of Murmansk in northern Russia and will have a production capacity of 6.6 million tonnes pert annum of LNG.

The same yard is currently building three concrete gravity-based foundations for Novatek’s next flagship LNG export project, Arctic LNG 2, which is located opposite Sabetta on the Gydan Peninsula.

The Arctic LNG 2 trains are expected to come online between 2026 and 2027, each with capacity to produce more than 6 million tpa.

According to Novatek, about half of required modules for the first Arctic LNG 2 train have been installed on top of the first GBS, expected to be towed to the Gydan Peninsula for installation and final commissioning in 2023.

Pouring concrete into a GBS for the proposed new train in Sabetta is tipped to begin once the first Arctic LNG 2 train vacates the yard near Murmansk.

Speaking during a conference call last week, Novatek executive chairman Leonid Mikhelson also confirmed that a subsidiary of the company received exploration and development licences for the Arktichesky and Neytinsky blocks on the Yamal Peninsula last year.

The blocks are located close to the Upper Tiuteyskoye and West Seyakhinskoye gas fields, from where Novatek plans to supply feedstock for the production of blue hydrogen, promising to capture carbon dioxide and reinject the greenhouse gas underground at dedicated sites.

Energy sector analysts in Moscow expect production from these four assets to help supply the proposed new LNG train in Sabetta, even if the proposed blue hydrogen project, dubbed Obsky Gas Chemistry Complex, goes ahead.

Yamal LNG, in which Novatek has a 50.1% stake, reported the shipping of 19.5 million tonnes of LNG last year, a low ambient pressures helped output rise close to 20% above nameplate capacity.

While Yamal LNG delivered about 14.6 million tonnes under long-term agreements with customers in Asia in 2021 another 4.9 million tonnes were shipped under spot contracts, mostly to Europe.

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