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11.01.2011  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [GTL] [gas-to-ethylene] [gasoline] [diesel] [algae oil] [FEED] [LNG] [natural gas terminal]

Navum Energy Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Turkmenistan state-owned gas concern, Turkmengas, which will lead to the construction of a series of gas-to-liquids (GTL) and gas-to-ethylene (GTE) plants using European, US and South African technologies.

Navum Energy Ltd. and Turkmengas are aiming to establish a joint venture with an anticipated 20-year operating life and two stages of development: first to establish a GTL plant to produce high-quality, environmentally friendly gasoline in western Turkmenistan and, later, a number of additional plants also producing diesel, jet fuel and ethylene-based derivative products. The parties also agreed to implement a parallel program for eliminating flared gas in Turkmenistan, aimed at lowering emissions of greenhouse gases.

Navum Energy has concluded several agreements with world-scale engineering companies for participation in the project and is finalizing an investment agreement with a major Japanese corporation. Several European and Asian commercial and development banks are in talks with Navum Energy over possibilities to participate in financing of the said project.

Neste Oil has launched a joint algae research program with the Marine Research Centre at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). The program is part of Neste Oil’s efforts aimed at using algae oil as a raw material for producing NExBTL renewable diesel in the future. Research with SYKE will focus on testing the lipid production capacity of different types of algae and analyzing how the quality and quantity of these lipids can be optimized by adjusting the conditions under which algae are grown. Launched this August, the program will last two years.

The suitability of algae oil for use in the NExBTL process has reportedly been confirmed. Algae that produce and store lipids represent a valuable potential source of raw material for NExBTL renewable diesel. Algae grow rapidly and one hectare of cultivated algae could yield as much as 30 tpy of oil.

Sasol, together with partners Uzbek-neftegaz and PETRONAS, have signed an investment agreement with the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade for the Uzbekistan Government, for the development and implementation of a gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Uzbekistan. Under the agreement, the investors and the GTL project will enjoy investment protection and fiscal benefits to ensure the successful implementation and operation of the GTL facility.

The conclusion of the investment agreement is an important milestone in the GTL project’s development in which Sasol and Uzbekneftegaz each hold 44.5% interest and PETRONAS an 11% interest.

Uzbekneftegaz will supply the feedstock, from the already developed Shurtan group of gas fields, and will offtake the majority of the production, under long-term arrangements. The GTL project’s front-end engineering and design (FEED) will commence before the end of 2011, and, depending on the final investment decision, the plant will be operational in the second half of this decade.

Reportedly, the first LNG terminal of its kind in the Netherlands has been opened in Maasvlakte, thanks to the joint capabilities of SENER and Techint Engineering and Construction, both integrated under the joint venture TS LNG.

The Gate terminal has invested €800 million for a 12 billion-m3 capacity terminal built in less than four years. The excellent mix of people, know-how and technologies has made up a plant whose capacity is said to be above average. The high-scale terminal is, in fact, able to fulfill the natural gas needs of the whole population in Holland.  HP

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