- South Africa’s helium and natural gas company, Renergen, has appointed Saipem South Africa, EPCM Holdings and Sproule for engineering studies for its Virginia gas project.
- Virginia comprises various gas fields across Welkom, Virginia and Theunissen in South Africa’s Free State containing high quantities of helium.
- The helium will be shipped overseas while the LNG will be used locally, primarily in vehicle transport.
Saipem has been awarded the front-end engineering design (FEED) contract for the development of the downstream liquid natural gas and liquid helium processing facilities, including the associated balance of the plant while EPCM Holdings has been awarded the FEED contract for the development of Phase 2’s gas gathering pipeline. Sproule is responsible for evaluating and certifying the reserves based on the results of the additional data acquisition and the current drilling campaign.
The three contracts will culminate in the completion of the feasibility studies for Renergen’s Virginia gas projects’ Phase 2 development and is expected to be completed on or around the second quarter of this year, with a financial investment decision by the board expected to be taken thereafter.
Phase 1 production is expected to come into operation later this year, with initial volumes of around 350 kg of helium and 2 500 GJ of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a day.
Phase 2, expected to start up in 2023, will be a more substantial project and will encompass the design of the facilities that will allow Renergen to produce significantly larger quantities of LNG and liquid helium.
In February last year, Renergen agreed to supply LNG to South Africa’s Bulk Hauliers International Transport who has agreed to buy LNG from Renergen to fuel its fleet of 50 trucks. The trucks will be powered with dual fuel technology, a combination of natural gas and diesel.
In June 2020, Renergen signed a deal with France’s Total on joint marketing and distribution of LNG at filling stations.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal