Local News

Yemen LNG gas company evacuated hundreds of workers

National Yemen

Yemen Lng terminal

By NY Staff

Yemen LNG gas company has evacuated hundreds of workers from its Balhaf terminal on the Gulf of Aden, after a mortar round hit the site, an oil ministry official and employees said Sunday.

Company staff, including foreigners, were evacuated to the capital on four planes as a precaution over fears of potential attacks on the terminal, employees said.

The evacuation of non-essential staff, however, did not affect operations and liquefaction trains, which have a capacity of 6.7 million tonnes of LNG per year, the ministry official said.

He said the plant employs some 1,200 staff and that the partial evacuation was decided after a mortar shell hit the port.

Yemen LNG said a “minor explosion occurred” inside the plant on Friday, adding that the blast caused only slight damage to non-essential equipment and that a probe has been initiated.

The Yemeni army deployed reinforcements around the sprawling site, where LNG exports were launched in 2009, military sources said.

The blast came a day after a massive attack on the defence ministry complex in Sanaa that left 56 people dead and was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi said in August that a bid to attack the Balhaf terminal had been foiled after a phone call was intercepted between Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and the leader of the Yemeni branch of the jihadist network.

Sanaa also said it had foiled an Al-Qaeda plot to storm the Canadian-run Mina al-Dhaba oil terminal and seize the port of Al-Mukalla, capital of the eastern province of Hadramawt.

AQAP denied plotting any such attacks.