Chinese gas distributor ENN Energy Holdings has begun operations at the first phase of its Zhoushan liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, Vice President Ma Shenyuan said, speaking at a commencement ceremony for the terminal on Friday.
As ENN aims to ramp up winter supplies in eastern China, the tanker 'Asia Integrity' docked at the Zhoushan terminal on the same day, bringing 145,000 cubic meters of LNG from Australia supplies to mark the launch of China's first privately-owned LNG facility.
ENN has signed long-term deals including sales and purchase agreements with Chevron Corp and Australia's Origin Energy and also has an agreement to buy LNG from Total. The deals total about 1.5 million tonnes per year of LNG.
The terminal, in the Zhoushan archipelago south of Shanghai, will have an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes a year in its first phase, and a regasification capacity of 1 million tonnes, Song Siyuan, an executive from the terminal said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ceremony, Song said ENN aims to expand the terminal by building a second phase by June 2021 with 2 million tonnes receiving capacity; three new regasification lines with 2 million tonnes of regasification capacity; and two storage tanks with total capacity of 160,000 cubic meters.
ENN is also expecting to build a pipeline connecting the terminal and Ningbo on the mainland by the end of 2019, Song said. Currently, the company uses barges and trucks to deliver LNG from the terminal.
The newly opened terminal has received 120,000 tonnes of LNG so far since trials began in August, said Zhang Hao, vice president of the company's energy trading group, in a separate speech at the ceremony.
The company has also prepared more than 400 trucks to deliver the gas from its terminal this winter in order to meet strong demand, Zhang said.
Last winter, many villages were left without gas supplies because of a surge in demand because of China's gasification push. The government switched millions of Chinese homes to gas heating from coal to reduce air pollution but was caught out by the increased consumption.
(Reporting by Meng Meng, Muyu Xu and Vincent Lee; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Kenneth Maxwell)
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