Flagship Asia LNG project shut down as black smoke seen

The Brunei LNG project was unexpectedly shut down on Monday after black smoke and flaring was witnessed on location at Lumut in Brunei Darussalam.

Black smoke and flaring could be seen, and noise was heard, the project proponent confirmed. No injuries were reported from the unexplained incident.

“Brunei LNG experienced a plant shutdown on 12 June. The potential root causes are still being investigated and a comprehensive restart plan has been developed and executed,” the operating company said in a statement.

“There are no hazards to the public from this activity.”

Brunei LNG designated teams are focused on safely restoring normal plant operations, the operator added, without saying when the 7.2 million tonnes per annum nameplate liquefaction facility might resume operations.

The flagship Brunei LNG facility is owned by a consortium comprising the sultanate’s government, UK supermajor Shell and Mitsubishi of Japan.

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The liquefued natural gas project, the first in the Western Pacific, started commercial operations in 1972. Five million tpa of LNG is delivered on long-term contracts to customers in Japan and North Asia out of the total 6.7 million tpa of export cargoes.

Natural gas today is Brunei Darussalam’s major revenue earner.