China Launches New LNG Import Terminal

Wednesday, 28 September 2022
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CNOOC’s commissioned its latest LNG import terminal in Jiangsu Province, according to a local government announcement. Our data show the Q-Flex Al Ghashamiya delivered a 0.09mmt cargo from Qatar. The Jiangsu Binhai terminal is earmarked to become one of the largest LNG import facilities in China through successive expansion programmes from 2023 onwards. 

The Q-Flex Al Ghashamiya has delivered the Jiangsu Binhai LNG terminal’s commissioning cargo, our shipping data show.

The giant Qatari LNG carrier delivered roughly 0.09mmt on Monday. The vessel had left the Ras Laffan LNG complex on 10 September, according to our data. 

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Initial development

The terminal’s initial development included annual receiving capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and a jetty capable of receiving Q-Max vessels, taking advantage of the already existing Binhai deepwater port.

Construction started in May 2019, according to a local government statement, and was nominally completed in 2021.

Commercial operations were already due to start in June this year, but our data indicate the arrival of the Al Ghashamiya marks the first delivery of an international, full-size LNG cargo to the facility.

Subdued demand 

Notably, the commissioning of the Jiangsu Binhai terminal comes at a time when China’s LNG imports have remained close to their four-year baseline of around 4mmt per month, our data show.

The country is still subject to frequent coronavirus-related lockdowns whilst also suffering from high international LNG prices its domestic market struggles to absorb.

Expansion prospects

The Jiangsu Binhai terminal currently hosts four tanks with capacity of 220,000 cubic metres.

However, embarking on Phase II of the project at a cost of almost US$1bln even before entering the international market, project owner CNOOC began the installation of the world’s largest storage tanks at the terminal in February this year. The six giant tanks are each sized 270,000 cubic metres.

As a result, the expansion phase will end with the facility having ten tanks with total capacity of 1.7 million cubic metres.

The terminal’s annual import capacity will also have doubled to six million tonnes of LNG by December 2023 and make it one of China’s largest LNG import terminals and the country’s largest LNG storage project.

According to a local government statement, its storage capacity could subsequently rise to 2.5 million cubic metres in another expansion, with total import capacity of 20mtpa through the construction of additional jetty capacity.

Path to Green 

The terminal’s full name is the CNOOC Yancheng "Green Energy Port", hinting at the political and ecological objective of its installation.

It is a key project of the central government’s "Four Revolutions and One Cooperation" energy security strategy championed by President Xi Jinping. 

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