Algeria’s Skikda LNG export plant restarted Thursday: Sonatrach CEO
Sonatrach Thursday restarted operations at its Skikda LNG export facility, ahead of schedule, Sonatrach CEO Amine Mazouzi said.
The shutdown was scheduled to last until February, Mazouzi said in a company statement. The 4.7 million mt/year plant went down at the end of December due to a heat exchanger issue, according to a company source. Since the outage, Sonatrach has been meeting its contractual supply obligations by sending LNG from the smaller Arzew export plant.
Mazouzi strongly criticized alleged comments that the break in LNG supplies from Algeria, due to the work at Skikda, to south-western France added to a natural gas shortage in France.
“Algeria is a reliable supplier of gas,” Mazouzi said. “We have fulfilled all our commitments and responded to all requests agreed upon between [Sonatrach and French customer Engie], particularly in January and even during the technical shutdown of the liquefaction unit at Skikda.”
Mazouzi also cited the unexpected cold spell accompanied by a very high demand.
“Everyone then fetched gas, and Algeria was a very reliable supplier and helped export some of this European demand,” he said.