Belhaf: Yemen LNG said its first train was producing at 99 per cent availability and its second train at 91 per cent availability, the company's general manager said Saturday.

In October, production started at the first train of the $4.5 billion (Dh16 billion) project to produce LNG — natural gas chilled to its liquid form for delivery to markets by ships.

"Our production is now reaching the maximum and we look forward to achieving the objective of production in 2010 of the budget," Francois Rafin, general manager of Yemen LNG, said in a speech at the inauguration of its second train.

The project had stayed within budget, he added.

It was the first LNG plant in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest state which just emerged from a violent civil war, and is its largest industrial project.

The government hopes LNG exports will offset the impact of rapidly falling oil output on state revenues and boost economic growth. Rafin also said 29 LNG cargoes had moved so far, and that cargoes were moving at a rate of two per week to countries including the United States, South Korea, Mexico, Britain, India and China.