Following the start of pumping at a newly built liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Balhaf on the Gulf of Aden, Yemen has officially become a gas exporter. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh inaugurated the first export, labeling it a landmark achievement for Yemen that will boost the nation’s industrial and economic development.
The first shipment—149,000 cubic meters of LNG—will go to South Korea’s Korea Gas Corp. “The production process of LNG, which was launched last month, is running successfully,” Minister of Oil and Minerals Amir al-Aidarous said on Friday.
“Exporting natural gas would allow Yemen to accede to the Natural Gas Exporting Club,” he added.
The nearly $5 billion investment, including a 320 kilometer (200 mile) gas pipeline from Maarib in eastern Yemen, is the country’s largest investment to date. Exports are expected to run normally by the second half of 2010, where they will reach primarily Europe and Asia.