Dubai - Yemen’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant complex was targeted with rocket-propelled explosives last Friday, the Yemen LNG Company said in a statement on Tuesday. Yemen’s largest industrial facility was partially evacuated after a small explosion at the gas export terminal at Balhaf on Friday afternoon. “Yemen LNG can confirm that a rocket-launched explosive device landed on the ground inside the Balhaf Plant at the extremity of the process area,” the company said after investigating the explosion at the multi-billion dollar complex. “There were no injuries and only slight property damage. Production and shipping operations continue,” the company run by France’s Total said. Violence is widespread across Yemen, where an interim government is fighting southern secessionists, northern rebels, and al Qaeda-linked militants. Yemen’s oil pipelines are frequently blown up by anti-government groups. Shabwa Province, a particularly lawless part of Yemen where the gas facility is located, has seen many attacks by militants on facilities and security forces.
The LNG export plant, which ships gas under long-term contracts with GDF Suez, Total and Korea Gas Corp , was already heavily guarded by Yemeni troops. Yemen LNG said on Tuesday the Yemeni government had boosted security around the plant in response to last week’s attack. In August, suspected al Qaeda militants killed four Yemeni soldiers in their sleep in an attack on forces guarding the terminal.