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Chevron expects to restart Train 2 of Gorgon LNG plant in early September

Chevron Corp expects to restart Train 2 of its Gorgon LNG plant in Australia in early September after completing repairs, a company spokesman said.

Gorgon is carrying out the repair work after a routine inspection of the train’s propane heat exchangers during planned maintenance found weld quality issues, the spokesman said.

The maintenance began on May 23 and a restart was initially expected to be on July 11.

Scheduled work is mechanically complete but repairs are now underway on the exchangers, the spokesman said. The processing train has eight propane heat exchangers.

Gorgon LNG Trains 1 and 3 are producing and the company is delivering LNG and domestic gas under its contractual commitments with customers, the spokesman added.

The extended shutdown of the processing train is expected to boost Asian spot LNG prices which rose to a nearly four-month high on Friday, although seasonally weaker than previous years.

Australia’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) said last Thursday it planned to inspect the Gorgon plant “as soon as possible” following calls by a trade union for the plant’s closure.

The three-train Chevron-operated Gorgon project, one of the world’s largest natural gas projects, can produce 15.6 million tonnes of LNG a year, the company’s website says.

Chevron’s Australian subsidiary holds a controlling 47.3% in Gorgon. Exxon Mobil Corp XOM.N and Royal Dutch Shell each have 25%, and the rest is held by Japan’s Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas and JERA.

Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Richard Pullin

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