Emerging natural gas producer Renergen on Tuesday marked the start of the pipeline construction at its flagship Virginia gas project, in the Free State.
Phase 1 of the Virginia project is expected to start producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquid helium by 2021. This will be followed by Phase 2 production in 2022 or 2023.
The project will ramp up from producing about 350 kg a day of helium in Phase 1 to producing between 1.2 t and 5 t a day of helium in Phase 2.
Global helium consumption amounts to about 80 t a day, meaning that Renergen will supply about 8% of global demand once Phase 2 is in operation.
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani told Engineering News Online that the groundbreaking at the project was “the culmination of many years of work” and marked the start of the 52 km pipeline’s construction, which would enable the company to connect all 12 of its gas wells to one centralised location.
“The pilot plant, which we’ve been running from, is only one well by itself. Whereas now we [can] connect all 12 wells, [thereby laying] the foundation for all future wells to be connected to the pipeline,” he explained.
Construction of the pipeline will include the digging of the trenches and the laying of the pipes, as well as the installation of the valves and water drainage system, besides others.