ST PETERSBURG, Russia, April 6 (Reuters) - Gazprom
expects to launch the first stage of a liquefied natural gas
(LNG) plant in the Pacific port of Vladivostok in 2018 and
double its output capacity to 10 million tonnes a year in 2020,
a company official said on Saturday.
This is the first time that Gazprom is outlining a more
concrete timeframe and volumes for the project. It previously
talked of a maximum envisaged output capacity of 20 million
President Vladimir Putin has urged Russian firms to forge
closer ties with energy-hungry Asian markets as Europe, the
traditional market for their hydrocarbons, is plagued by
economic problems resulting in sluggish demand for oil and gas.
Pavel Oderov, the head of Gazprom's foreign department, said
there was a possibility for a third line, but the original plan
was for two lines with capacity of 5 million tonnes a year each.
'It's not a secret that our Far Eastern projects are
oriented to the market of the Asia-Pacific region. And we would
be ready to look into the possibility of using a part of the
products for sea and automotive transportation,' he told a
Gazprom has committed more than $38 billion to develop an
East Siberian gas field and build a pipeline to the Pacific port
of Vladivostok. For years the state-controlled company has been
in gas delivery talks with China, and last month signed a
memorandum to supply 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year
via the Eastern route starting from 2018.
Vladivostok LNG could fit in with the plans to ship gas to
China. Russia now aims to sign the deal with the world's top
energy consumer before the year end.
Russia, the world's second-largest gas producer after the
United States, has a sole LNG-producing plant, the Gazprom-led
Sakhalin-2 project, which produces 10 million tonnes of
frozen gas a year.
Oderov also said LNG could be used as fuel in the Baltic Sea
region as part of the drive to fight off pollution and improve
the environment, as gas is cleaner than oil products, the
traditional fuel for ships.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Jason Bush and
Keywords: RUSSIA VLADIVOSTOK/LNG
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