Committed to LNG in QatarJanuary 15, 2019
Junji Nagasaka, managing director of Chiyoda Almana Engineering, talks to TOGY about why LNG is critically important for Qatar and how the North Field Expansion has created optimism for the hydrocarbons industry. A joint venture between Japan’s Chiyoda and Qatar’s Almana Group, Chiyoda Almana concentrates on FEED and EPC projects.
• On brownfield opportunities: “In addition to the LNG expansion and petrochemicals projects, there are some aged facilities in Qatar that may need to be maintained and upgraded. For the expected brownfield opportunities, we have the local capability to carry out the projects and send our specialists to look into the required asset integrity services which will help to maintain the long-lasting good condition of plant operations. This kind of service used to be done in Japan, but now we offer it to our clients locally by our specialised team.”
• On working with Qatargas after the RasGas merger: “Although Qatargas and RasGas each had different project procedures, safety rules and special themes in project management, we managed to comply with the new Qatargas procedures, rules and requirements without being affected by the merger since we have been dealing with both operators for many years and we are familiar enough with both sets of project procedures and project management strategies.”
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What is the overall significance of the North Field Expansion project for Qatar’s economy and hydrocarbons industry?
Considering Qatar’s targeted economic growth, LNG plays a crucial role as the biggest element in the country’s budget income. This consideration was proven by Qatar’s announcement of plans to increase LNG production to hit 43% above its current production capacity. In parallel with the LNG project, there is a planned petrochemicals project to be completed by 2025, which will expand the hydrocarbons EPC market and open up new opportunities.
Especially under the current political situation (the embargo), Qatar is taking the path to an independent economy and growing its worldwide trading network and markets. By generating income from LNG production and exports, Qatar can further develop other industries including the new petrochemicals and downstream [activity], such as the expansion of existing facilities in the Mesaieed Industrial City.
Can you elaborate on what makes you optimistic about Qatar’s hydrocarbons industry?
Before the start of the North Field Expansion project (NFE), the market did not offer many opportunities. At this stage, we are conducting studies, pre-FEED and FEED, as well as engineering works. With the kickoff of the NFE project, we can predict a positive market movement. We expect that in around 2020 to 2022, works related to the NFE will accelerate.
In addition to the LNG expansion and petrochemicals projects, there are some aged facilities in Qatar that may need to be maintained and upgraded. For the expected brownfield opportunities, we have the local capability to carry out the projects and send our specialists to look into the required asset integrity services which will help to maintain the long-lasting good condition of plant operations. This kind of service used to be done in Japan, but now we offer it to our clients locally through our specialised team.
As more facilities are added and the market expands in Qatar, Chiyoda Almana’s market will also expand in brownfield works, which typically follows the completion of new facilities. Furthermore, we are trying to build more business prowess, such as asset integrity services, renewable energy and water treatment. Given that we are already doing studies for hydrocarbons-related facilities in Qatar, our service can be extended to other industries. Previously, most of the work was focused on the Ras Laffan Industrial City, but we are also looking at other areas including the Mesaieed Industrial City.
How can engineering and construction players contribute to flare reduction and help the government address environmental issues?
Qatar’s government and oil and gas plant operators are applying the highest environmental and quality standards to protect the environment and promote sustainable development for future generations.
In this context, many initiatives have commenced recently such as the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) system for plant water recycling to reduce water consumption and eliminate the discharge of treated industrial water to the sea. Also, there is the flare reduction initiative, which aims to minimise flaring and reduce emissions and the carbon footprint.
Chiyoda Almana, in line with the Qatari government, is keen to be involved in projects related to environmental conservation. Accordingly, Chiyoda Almana has successfully completed various engineering works tackling environmental issues. I believe that it is one of the major responsibilities of engineering services providers to boost their work with new technologies and solutions to overcome the challenges of environmental issues in line with environmental regulations and QNV [Qatar National Vision] 2030.
What has been the difference in working for Qatargas compared to RasGas?
Chiyoda Almana has been fortunate to have a long-term engineering/EPCM service contract with RasGas (Qatargas after the merger) from 2009 until now. Moreover, we had also successfully delivered many projects to Qatargas since our establishment in 2008 and we still have many ongoing projects with Qatargas now.
Although Qatargas and RasGas each had different project procedures, safety rules and special themes in project management, we managed to comply with the new Qatargas procedures, rules and requirements without being affected by the merger since we have been dealing with both operators for many years and we are familiar enough with both sets of project procedures and project management strategies.
How does Chiyoda Almana support the local industry in developing its capabilities and enhancing know-how?
Since 1993, Chiyoda Corporation, Chiyoda Almana’s parent company, has offered training opportunities to more than 173 Qatari engineers at company offices in Japan. After the establishment of Chiyoda Almana in Qatar, Chiyoda Corporation in collaboration with its local subsidiary, Chiyoda Almana, started to provide annual technical training to Qatari engineers from Qatar Petroleum (QP), Qatargas and the former RasGas. The training programmes are carried out in both Qatar and Japan and aim to transfer knowledge and share Chiyoda’s advanced engineering solutions with our Qatari clients.
The programmes were formalised and supported after the signing of the MoU between Chiyoda Corporation and QP in 2013, witnessed by the prime ministers of Qatar and Japan, to provide the training to QP and its subsidiaries to support QNV 2030.
Chiyoda Almana works as a local partner with energy industry operators and educational institutions to play an efficient role to develop the local human resources and share the engineering know-how that the company’s team has gained over years of operation in Qatar, especially in the field of LNG.
In addition to the technical training offered to Qatari engineers, for the last five years Chiyoda Almana has also provided summer internship programmes to undergraduate engineering students in Qatar, giving them the chance to join our engineering department on a job training programme which offers the students an opportunity to experience the real work environment and lets us transfer the accumulated knowledge from the company’s team to the young engineers.
Chiyoda Almana is committed to its corporate responsibility towards Qatari society at all levels, especially for the development of the local human resources who will lead the country’s social, economic and environmental developments.
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