Helium and natural gas producer, Renergen, has announced the commencement of operations at its Virginia Gas Project in South Africa’s Free State Province, becoming the country’s first commercial liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.
Serving to transition Renergen from an explorer to a producer of liquid hydrocarbons, the company stated on 5 September that it has commenced the filling of bulk storage tanks for the delivery of gas to customers, which will serve to supplement the use of diesel for trucks and thereby reducing carbon emission output.
“This watershed moment in the company’s lifecycle has finally arrived,” stated Renergen CEO, Stefano Marani, adding, “This is a significant step on the path to showing the world that Renergen can become a global player in the liquid helium supply and a material supplier of much-needed LNG.”
The announcement follows the completion of its due diligence on an agreement with Renergen by energy solutions company, the Central Energy Fund, as part of Phase 1 of the project to invest approximately $58 million for a 10% stake in the plant in August this year.
The coming months will see Renergen ramp up operations to full Phase 1 capacity of 2,700 gigajoules per day (GJ/d) of LNG and 350kg per day (kg/d) of helium, while Phase 2 will involve an additional investment of $900 million for the production of 5,000 kg/d of helium, 24,000 GJ/d of LNG, as well as the development of a 60 MW gas-to-power plant.
With a life expectancy of 20 years, the Virginia Gas Project will play a significant role towards reducing South Africa’s carbon emissions.