Also attending the opening ceremony were Prime Minister of Japan Taro Aso, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven.
Running at full capacity, the plant will produce almost 10 million tons of liquefied natural gas and cover up to five percent of world supplies of this fuel, Mr Medvedev said.
The President noted that the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project has strategic importance not just for Russia but also for its foreign partners. Gazprom, Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi are all taking part in this high-technology project.
Mr Medvedev and his foreign guests visited the Grand Aniva gas tanker that will transport the liquefied natural gas. The tanker was built in Japan and is owned by a Russian-Japanese consortium made up of Sovkomflot (40%) and Japanese company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (60%).
The liquefied natural gas plant was built as part of the Sakhalin-2 project on the bank of the Aniva Bay in the south of Sakhalin Island. The plant will reach full capacity in 2010. Contracts for its output have already been signed for 20–25 years ahead with Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States. The first delivery of liquefied natural gas produced by the plant will be made to Japan in March this year.