Sana’a – February 9, 2014: Yemen LNG has picked up a series of incorrect information recently conveyed in media and social networks about Yemen LNG Company.
With a view to maintaining transparency in all our operations, and in response to concerns and questions that relate to the company, Yemen LNG wishes to state the following:
The Sales & Purchase agreements signed by Yemen LNG and the buyers have been negotiated in a fair and transparent manner
As is the norm with any LNG project which have a high capital cost, long term Sales and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) with potential buyers need first to be signed in order to demonstrate that there are sufficient stable revenues in the long term to allow for the financing of the construction of the liquefaction facilities.
In August 2005, following an open tender process, Yemen LNG and the Korean company KOGAS signed a Sales and Purchase Agreement for the supply of 2.05 million tons per annum of LNG to Korea. At the time, the pricing in the original contract signed by Yemen LNG was comparable and in some cases better than other sales to Korea, including for example, Russian Sakhalin company in July 2005, Malaysia LNG (MLNG Tiga) in July 2005 and Tangguh LNG (Indonesia) sales to Korean buyers in 2004.
Also following a call for tenders, two additional SPAs were signed by Yemen LNG in August 2005 with Total Gas & Power Ltd for 2.1 million tons per annum, and GDF Suez for 2.55 million tons per annum, both with deliveries to the US and European market.
The negotiation process between Yemen LNG and its buyers during the negotiation of the SPAs was conducted at arm’s length and great care was taken to ensure that the negotiations were fair and transparent.
The three SPAs were subject to considerable scrutiny before their approval by the Ministry of Oil and Minerals (MOM). Indeed, they were reviewed by a Parliamentary Commission specifically set up for this purpose. Particular attention was paid to ensure that sufficient reserves were available over the life of the SPAs. They were reviewed by Parliament and then formally approved by the Government in a Ministerial Resolution dated 16 August 2005.
Yemen LNG and its buyers have been and are renegotiating sales prices to take into account the evolution of the gas markets
The KOGAS SPA contains a Brent based price formula with floor and ceiling and a five-year renegotiation clause.
The Total Gas & Power Ltd and GDF Suez SPAs are linked to the Henry Hub gas price index (American and European market) - which was very favorable to Yemen LNG at the time of the signature.
A separate floor agreement was signed to guarantee minimum prices in case the Henry Hub prices were to remain at a low level for an extended period of time.
In early 2009, in the wake of the US Shale gas boom, the Henry Hub gas prices fell sharply down to 1.5 USD/MBtu. On the other hand, gas prices in Asia started rising led by a growing energy demand in booming economies such as China. Rising Asian prices and dramatically lower US prices was the complete opposite of the forecasts being made by independent experts engaged at the time of signing the SPAs (2005).
Following this collapse in HH prices, Yemen LNG negotiated and signed two agreements with Total Gas & Power Ltd and GDF Suez in order to offset the negative impact of the price collapse by allowing the diversion of LNG cargoes to more lucrative markets such as Asia.
In 2013, 80% of the cargoes sold by Yemen LNG to Total Gas & Power Ltd were diverted to Asia were prices are currently the most favorable, thus generating a significant price upside for Yemen LNG.
Status of negotiations for price reviews with all three buyers:
Negotiations for price reviews with all three buyers started in June 2013 by a joint task force which included the Yemeni government and Yemen LNG.
Negotiations were concluded with KOGAS in December 2013 under the contractual price review clause, reaching an agreement for a sales price representing the current Asian market.
Negotiations with Total Gas & Power Ltd and GDF Suez are still ongoing and are confidential.
Cost of construction of Yemen LNG
The cost of the construction of Yemen LNG project was 4.5 billion US Dollars. Projects constructed at the time cost double or more. If Yemen LNG were to be built today, the cost will be three times the original cost. The cost of construction was fully financed by shareholder funds. Shareholders provided the project with first-hand international expertise in complex financing operations thus minimizing financing costs.
Yemen LNG Project brings large revenues to Yemen:
The Yemen LNG revenues to be generated for the State of Yemen by Yemen LNG is estimated to be approximately 60 billion US Dollars over the next 20 years.
About Yemen LNG Company:
The Yemen LNG Company (Yemen LNG) was created in 1995 following a call for tenders in Yemen with the objective of valorizing Yemeni gas reserves discovered on Block 18. Yemen LNG allowed Yemen to become a major player in the growing world gas market.
Following an open tender process a Gas Development Agreement (GDA) was signed between the State of Yemen and YLNG in 1995. This GDA sets out the general framework governing the development of the Yemen LNG project. The GDA was ratified by Parliament and enforced by a presidential decree. The original duration of the development phase was extended several times with Ministerial approval in accordance with the terms of the GDA.
The shareholders of Yemen LNG are Yemen Gas Company (16.73%), GASSP (5%), Hunt (17.22%), Kogas (6%), SK Innovation (9.55%), Hyundai (5.88%) and Total (39.62%).
Construction of the Yemen LNG liquefaction plant started in 2005 and was completed in 2009. The project was carried out on time and within the initial budget which was a significant achievement at the time. It was the largest industrial project ever carried out in Yemen, and thanks to a favorable market the unit costs of the project are amongst the lowest in the world. The safety record at the site has always been recognized as excellent.
The feed gas for the plant is supplied by the Yemeni company Safer acting as Field Operator of Block 18 and is piped over 320 km to the plant in Balhaf.
The first cargo of LNG was exported on 7th November, 2009.
As a necessary pre-condition to obtain the financing for the construction of the LNG plant, three long-term sales and purchase agreements were signed by Yemen LNG in 2005, totaling 6.7 million tons of LNG per year.
Tremendous benefits brought by Yemen LNG to the country:
In addition to revenues, the creation of Yemen LNG has generated several thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the Yemeni population. During the construction phase over 12 000 jobs were created on site, and around 800 people from the neighboring communities are today employed at the Balhaf facility.
Yemen LNG employees also benefit from extensive and varied training schemes and development programmes designed to develop further their skills and talents.
Yemen LNG is fully committed to the development of the country and as such is implementing an ambitious programme to sustain economic development of neighboring communities (support for fisheries and agriculture), public health and access to health care, and vulnerability alleviation (improving access to water and energy). This extensive program is deployed in coordination with the Yemeni government, NGOs and local communities.
Over the six-year period 2008 to 2013, Yemen LNG spent YR 5.5 billion on this programme.