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Yamal LNG to Choose European Transfer Port by Third Quarter

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Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Yamal LNG, a venture developing a liquefied natural gas export plant in the Russian Arctic, plans to pick a terminal to transfer the fuel in Europe by the end of the third quarter.

The $26.9 billion project being developed by OAO Novatek, Total SA and China National Petroleum Corp. will decide between Belgium’s Zeebrugge and ports in France and Spain, Philippe Sauquet, president of Total Gas & Power, said in an interview at the European Gas Conference in Vienna. The decision may be made as soon as the end of the first quarter, he said.

“Zeebrugge is in the race,” he said. “There are also opportunities for Spain.” He declined to name the French and Spanish LNG terminals contending to transship the LNG from the Russian project.

Yamal LNG will need to transfer the fuel from ice-class tankers to conventional LNG vessels at a facility in Europe when the direct Northern Sea Route to Asian markets is blocked for as long as eight months of the year. The partners made a final investment decision in December for the three-train, 16.5 million-metric-ton-a-year plant built on pylons driven into the northern Siberian peninsula’s permafrost and plan to start commercial production in 2017.

The tender for the so-called transshipment services is at the final stages, Novatek Chief Financial Officer Mark Gyetvay said Nov. 8.

France’s Montoir terminal has carried out three ship-to-ship LNG transfers since becoming the first port to offer the service in August.

LNG to be shipped over the next four to eight weeks to northeast Asia rose to $19.30 per million British thermal units in the week ended Jan. 27, up from $18.70, New York-based Energy Intelligence Group said today on the website of its World Gas Intelligence publication. Southwest Europe prices slid to $15.55 from $15.75.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Shiryaevskaya in London at ashiryaevska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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