Iran says construction work at the revived 10.8mn t/yr Iran LNG project stands at just shy of 50pc and is on track for completion before the end of the current administration’s term in office in mid-2025.
“Progress at this project now stands at almost 50pc,” said Abdolhossein Bayat, the chairman of oil industry pension fund investment company Opic, a state-owned body that provides financial resources for upstream oil and gas developments.
The two-train liquefaction project is one of three LNG projects that Iran planned to launch in the early 2000s, only to be shelved several years later because of international sanctions related to Tehran’s nuclear programme.
The other two projects were the 10mn t/yr Pars LNG and 16.2mn t/yr Persian LNG plants, also on Iran’s Mideast Gulf coast, led by TotalEnergies and Shell, respectively.
But while the Pars and Persian LNG projects were still at the early stage of development when they were abandoned, work on the Iran LNG plant at Assaluyeh, in Iran’s southern Bushehr province, had progressed to the point that preparations to install the liquefaction trains had been largely completed.
Oil minister Javad Owji announced in March that the government had not only decided to revive Iran LNG, but that work at the plant had already restarted. The project has progressed by around 10pc since work resumed slightly less than a year ago, and construction of the on-site LNG and LPG tanks is 98pc complete, Bayat said.
“This level of material progress confirms that this strategic gas liquefaction project has been revived after more than a decade of stagnation,” he said.
The government’s renewed push to complete what would be the country’s first LNG project comes at a time of far greater reliance on LNG imports in Europe, as an alternative to Russian pipeline gas, and heightened global competition for the fuel.
But delivering on these ambitions will not be straightforward, first because the country is still under US sanctions that show little sign of being lifted soon. Additionally, Iran continues to struggle to keep its gas consumption down, limiting supply available for export.