DUBAI/LONDON: Qatar Petroleum has chosen Japan's Chiyoda Corp to design up to four large liquefied natural gas (LNG) production plants as part of plans to boost output and retain its crown as top LNG exporter.
Qatar announced plans to expand LNG capacity by 30 percent to 100 million tonnes per annum last year, not long after lifting a moratorium on gas development from the North Field, the world's biggest gas field.
First LNG from the new plant, or train, will arrive by the end of 2023, Qatar Petroleum CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said in a statement.
Under its front-end engineering and design contract, Chiyoda will provide basic designs for the addition of three 7.8 mtpa LNG mega-trains, Qatar Petroleum said.
This includes "associated pre-investment to add a fourth LNG train in the future", it said.
The statement did not make any reference to the potential expansion of Qatar's fleet of 14 existing liquefaction trains, which was initially raised as a possibility.
Qatar's dominant position in global LNG markets came under threat from Australia, where production from a new batch of projects dotted across its coastline was seen overtaking the Gulf State by the end of the decade. However, Qatar's expansion plan could undermine those efforts.
(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh Editing by Saeed Azhar and David Goodman ) ((mailto:Hadeel.AlSayegh@thomsonreuters.com; +971566883310;))