DOHA, Qatar, April 6 /PRNewswire/ --

Qatargas today inaugurated Qatargas 2, the world's first fully integrated value chain liquefied natural gas (LNG) venture marking a historic moment for the State of Qatar.

HH the Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani officially inaugurated the project in front of the assembled audience at Ras Laffan City, formally acknowledging the significant achievements Qatar has made in the field of LNG. His Royal Highness The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, witnessed the inauguration on behalf of the United Kingdom.

Qatargas 2 is the culmination of Qatargas' historic project to create a fully integrated value chain. The LNG Trains represent a 50% increase on any performance previously achieved in the global energy industry.

Combined, Qatargas 2 consists of three offshore unmanned platforms, two world class LNG Trains, five storage tanks, two loading berths, a fleet of 14 state of the art LNG ships and a receiving terminal in Milford Haven, Wales.

The main destination for the LNG will be the specially built South Hook terminal located in the deep-water port of Milford Haven, United Kingdom. From there the gas will find its way to customers in the UK natural gas market. Qatargas 2 is capable of providing up to 20 percent of the UK's natural gas needs.

His Excellency Abdulla Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy Industry said: This is an important day for the LNG industry and for the State of Qatar. The Qatargas 2 project represents a new source of energy diversity and supply for the United Kingdom and other LNG markets around the world. Qatargas 2 also represents a sizable investment in long term capacity creation through the construction of these pioneering mega-trains and ships to transport the LNG.

Mr. Faisal Al-Suwaidi, Chief Executive Officer, Qatargas said: What we will achieve with Qatargas 2 would not have been possible without the vision of the State of Qatar under the leadership of His Highness the Amir. The support of our shareholders - Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Total has contributed significantly to translating this vision into a reality. Many people have worked very hard to deliver this project safely and ensure that it operates safely and reliably for the long-term, my thanks go out to them.

A number of high level officials from Qatar and the United Kingdom were present including Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry and other senior officials from Qatar Petroleum, HRH The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, and Mike O'Brian QC MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a message via video congratulating the State of Qatar on this historic occasion.

Guests at the inauguration included representatives from Qatargas' shareholders: Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Total.

Qatargas 2 is special not only because it is the first of the Qatargas expansion projects but because it is a first in the LNG industry in terms of train size, new technology, innovations in shipping, workforce levels, marketing, project financing, with close co-operation of international contractors, and the involvement of international energy companies as partners.

40 new technologies and three million pounds of new equipment and systems were implemented in the completion of the project. Low emission technology and waste heat recovery systems are incorporated to reduce emission levels. These innovations have made the Qatargas 2 Trains extremely efficient and one of the lowest emissions LNG plants built to date.

Within a decade, Qatargas Operating Company has grown from a company with three trains producing six million tonnes of LNG per year with one primary customer, to a global leader in the industry supplying 42 million tonnes per year to markets on three continents.

One hundred Qatargas staff members who contributed to the project joined His Highness the Emir on stage where he thanked them for their dedication and hard work. The safety record on the project has been exemplary. The Qatargas 2 project achieved more than 20 million man hours without one lost time incident on three separate occasions. This record reflects the strong safety culture in Qatargas that has become a model in the LNG industry and beyond.

The inauguration was reason to celebrate for both the State of Qatar and the United Kingdom, which will open the South Hook facility next month. Few projects in the UK compare to the South Hook LNG Terminal development in terms of scale. The Terminal, located in West Pembrokeshire in Wales, UK, is the largest LNG receiving terminal in Europe with a capacity of 15.6 million tonnes per annum and features the largest diameter storage tanks in the world.

Contact details Abdallah Hijji Ph +974-550-6641 Rachele Sheard Ph +974-6009126 John Watts, Managing Director, Brown Lloyd James Ph +974-687-6682

Abdallah Hijji, +974-550-6641,; Rachele Sheard, +974-6009126,; John Watts, Managing Director, Brown Lloyd James, +974-687-6682,