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3rd Yemen LNG Chartered Vessel, ‘Seri Balhaf’, Ready to Sail

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22 December 2008
H.E. Mr. Ameer Salem Al-Aidaroos, Minister of Oil and Minerals and a government delegation as well as Yemen LNG representatives attended on Monday, 15 December 2008, the official naming ceremony of another Yemen LNG chartered vessel at a special ceremony in Nagasaki, Japan. The vessel, named ‘Seri Balhaf’, is the third of four LNG vessels chartered to Yemen LNG for the entire lifespan of the project.

Speaking on behalf of the Yemeni government and the participating Yemen LNG members, H.E. Minister of Oil and Minerals shed some light on the historical background of the name given to the vessel: “Seri Balhaf is named after the port of Balhaf which was the main port of Al-Wahidi Sultanate”. “We are also very pleased that Yemeni marine cadets will join the operating crews of this vessel and other vessels chartered to Yemen LNG,” concluded Mr. Al-Aidaroos. The first part of the name, Seri, is of a Malay origin and it means splendour, brightness or royal honour.

Seri Balhaf is one of two vessels that are being constructed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki, Japan for the ship owner, MISC. Due to the efficiency of the engines and the state-of-the-art technology used in the four chartered tankers, the vessels represent a new generation of LNG ships with lower energy requirements ensuring better fuel consumption and less emissions than conventional steam turbine powered LNG tankers. The fourth chartered vessel, not yet named, which is under construction by MHI is expected to be completed around the beginning of the second quarter of 2009. The first two have been completed early this year and were named Maersk Arwa and Maersk Marib.

Commenting on the event, General Manager of Yemen LNG Mr. Joël Fort stressed that “today’s event is a tribute to Yemen LNG’s commitment to deliver the project on time”. “I’m also pleased to say that”, Mr. Fort added, “the achievement of the ships is yet another indicator of progress being made towards production around mid-2009”.

The vessels will transport LNG from Yemen to the North American market as part of the Company’s sales agreements with Total Gas & Power (TGP), one of the long-term buyers. In total, at least twelve vessels will be used at any point in time to deliver LNG from Balhaf to the three buyers, namely TGP, Suez and Kogas.

It is noteworthy that Yemen LNG is constructing and will be operating a two-train natural gas liquefaction plant with a guaranteed capacity of 6.7 million metric tones per annum (MMtpa), plus associated pipelines, storage and port facilities. The Project will monetise gas extracted from the fields dedicated for that purpose in the Marib existing fields of central Yemen. Yemen LNG has committed approximately %100 of the guaranteed Plant capacity under three 20-year take-or-pay LNG Sales and Purchase Agreements. Capital construction costs are estimated to be over US$4 billion.


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