Saipem: awarded FEED contract for Virginia Gas Project in South Africa


The contract concerns the development of an LNG plant with the production of liquefied Helium

San Donato Milanese (Italy), January 27, 2021 – Saipem has been awarded a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract by Renergen, a South African emerging integrated renewable energy company, through its 100% controlled subsidiary Tetra4. The contract concerns the downstream development of the Virginia Gas phase 2 Project in South Africa where Saipem established a branch in 2018 located in Johannesburg.


Saipem’s contract encompasses the design of the facilities that will allow to produce LNG and liquefied Helium. Saipem will design the natural gas purification section, the gas liquefaction section using its proprietary technology LiqueflexTM-N2, the products storages and off-loading, and the associated utilities.

The Virginia Gas Project comprises exploration and production rights of 187 000 ha of gas fields across Welkom, Virginia, and Theunissen in the Free State. The fields contain one of the richest Helium concentrations logged internationally. Liquid Helium will be exported abroad while LNG will be used in South Africa, providing a competitive and cleaner energy source to the country.

Eric Zielinski, Upstream & LNG Product Manager of XSIGHT, Saipem’s division dedicated to project definition engineering services, commented:“Through this contract Saipem further extends its presence in South Africa and is involved in an exciting, world-class development project. The FEED contract specifications for Virginia Gas Project fully fit within our strategy of diversification providing innovative ideas for the new energy movement, enabling carbon footprint reductions, and helping to produce a rare and valuable commodity such as helium. The technologies developed by Saipem for small to mid-scale natural gas liquefaction plants fully fit for this application, thanks to their flexibility and robustness”.

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