China approves first floating LNG import/regas terminal

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August 15, 2013

(Reuters; Aug. 14) - China National Offshore Oil Corp. said it has won final government approval to build China's first floating terminal for receiving liquefied natural gas imports. "Compared with a normal LNG terminal, the floating LNG terminal in Tianjin (on the coast, just southeast of Beijing) can realize rapid LNG supply, shortening the construction period by three to four years," CNOOC said.

The first phase of the floating LNG project, at about $500 million, is designed for an annual capacity of about 100 billion cubic feet of gas, CNOOC said on its website Aug. 14. A floating storage and regasification ship will be rented from overseas, the company said. The second phase of the project will lead to an onshore LNG terminal, with an annual receiving capacity of no less than 280 bcf of. Natural gas from the terminal will supply Tianjin and Beijing as well as Hebei and Shandong provinces, CNOOC said.

China's domestic gas production is struggling to keep up with demand, with LNG and pipeline imports rising to meet the need. China's LNG imports rose 25 percent to an average 2.2 bcf a day in the first half of this year from the year-ago period, customs data shows. CNOOC, China's leading firm in the LNG business, operates four LNG import terminals along the coastline and is building several more. Other companies operate two more terminals, with a dozen more planned.

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