South Africa has joined the club of LNG producing states as Renergen has started up its production facility at the Virginia gas project.
The company announced the start of operations this morning.
“This watershed moment in the company’s lifecycle has finally arrived,” said CEO Stefano Marani.
“This is a significant step on the path to showing the world that Renergen can become a global player in liquid helium supply and a material local supplier of much needed LNG.”
The company will focus on ramping up to Phase 1 capacity in the coming months, he said. Renergen is now producing liquid hydrocarbons, while the helium module is expected to start up in due course.
The company has begun filling bulk storage tanks, to begin delivering products to customers.
Renergen began supplying gas to its plant on July 8. At that point, the company said it expected to begin production by the end of July.
The South African company has begun plans for a second phase of operations in the Free State.
The first phase involves the production of 2,700 GJ per day of LNG and 350 kg per day of helium.
Local consumers will take the LNG, as an alternative to diesel. Renergen plans to export the helium. It has secured international support for its plans, while the Central Energy Fund (CEF) is working to buy a 10% stake in the project for 1 billion rand ($58mn).