A desert of ice, beaten by the winds, thousands of men who busied themselves around buildings metal, a tower that spits fire : Yamal seems to be the perfect place to shoot a remake of The Empire strikes back. Has more than 4 000 km north of Moscow, the mega-project for gas from Total and Novatek seems to have taken on another planet.
The construction of the site – sometimes referred to as the largest construction site in the world – has mobilized more than 60,000 people for four years. The time to build in this area is totally virgin, a plant of liquefaction of gas, a port, an airport and a residential area fully oriented to the operating gas. Some $ 27 billion (€23 billion) to overcome the challenges of ice and cold.
To settle in a region that is frozen eight months a year, it was necessary to mobilize 10 shipyards in Asia to build 140 modules huge, transported by boats and assembled on-site. “It’s like a game of Lego giant, finally ! “laughs Christophe Thomas, one of the leaders of the operations to be Total. The group petro-gas French, which is involved in the project to the tune of 20 %, has invited The World to visit the site, Friday, December 8, for the departure of the first lng icebreaker filled with liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The region that imports the most LNG is the Asia
Why have come so far to build a site as large as two times the district of la Defense near Paris ? In the region, the gas is abundant and easy to extract. But it is still necessary to be able to export it. It is precisely this that allows the LNG : the gas is cooled down to – 165 degrees and becomes liquid. Therefore, it can be transported by boat to a destination, which may vary according to needs. Unlike a gas pipeline, this allows it to deliver gas in very remote areas of the reserves.
However, the region that is important…