Sinopec's new LNG terminal wins state nod, steps up winter supplies
By Chen Aizhu
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China's Sinopec Corp said it had secured state approval for a third major gas receiving terminal and pledged to boost winter supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a power crunch cripples industrial activity in parts of the country.
The state oil and gas firm said it planned to import 13.3 billion cubic metres (bcm) of LNG this winter and operate its existing terminals at full capacity.
A Sinopec spokesperson said that figure would be about 9% higher than imports last winter.
The company said its planned 6 million tonne per year LNG terminal to be built in Longkou in eastern China's Shandong province had recently won state approval.
This will add to Sinopec's two operating terminals, in Qingdao and Tianjin, each capable of receiving 6 million tonnes of LNG a year.
The new terminal will include a berth handling vessels of 266,000 cubic metres and four storage tanks each sized 220,000 cubic metres.
The company is also adding a similar-sized berth of 266,000 cubic metres at its Tianjin terminal which is slated for completion in November.
Sinopec is accelerating adding gas storage - both LNG tanks and underground caverns - aiming to operate 1.69 bcm capacity by the end of October, 15.5% higher than a year earlier.
China's gas demand typically surges during the winter heating season.
With imports totalling 51.8 million tonnes in the first eight months of this year, China has overtaken Japan as the world's largest LNG importer earlier than expected.
(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Edmund Blair and Kim Coghill)
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