Qatargas signed a $90 million contract with a joint venture of Chiyoda Corp. and Technip of France to raise LNG ouput at its Ras Laffan plant. The engineering, procurement and construction contract is part of a $200 million plan to boost liquefied natural gas production to 9.2 million tons per year from 7.7 million tons. Work on the project will start next year and is expected to be completed by 2005. Plans to add a fourth and fifth LNG trains at Ras Laffan are underway. Output from the proposed trains would go mainly to Europe, but some might be offered in U.S. markets.
Qatar has the world's third largest gas reserves and has ambitions of exporting about 35 million tons a year of LNG before 2010 from its Qatargas and Rasgas projects.