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China's Beijing Gas gets nod to build 5 mil mt/year LNG terminal in Tianjin

Highlights

Project to boost gas demand in China's highest gas consuming region

Tianjin plant designed to meet peak shaving capacity

Chinese state-owned gas distributor Beijing Gas Group has obtained the government's approval to build a 5 million mt/year LNG receiving terminal at Nangang district, Tianjin city, adding new LNG receiving capacity to the Bohai Rim region -- the most natural gas consuming region in China.

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Natural gas consumption is estimated to be around 67 billion cu m in the Bohai Rim region in 2019, up 10.6% year on year, accounting for around 22% of China's total gas consumption of 304 Bcm last year, according to data from state-owned CNPC's Economics & Technology Research Institute.

China's Bohai Rim region include two municipalities -- Beijing, Tianjin, and three provinces -- Hebei, Shandong and Liaoning.

"The project was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission on January 14," a company official said Tuesday, but declined to be named.

The terminal is designed to have a LNG receiving capacity of 5 million mt/year, which is expected to be put into operation at the end of 2022, according to the official.

Beijing Gas's LNG receiving terminal in Tianjin will be an emergency peak-shaving reserve project, which comprises the construction of 10 storage tanks of 200,000 cu m each, a dock capable of receiving LNG shipments up to 260,000 cu m, and a 229-km pipeline linking the terminal with its gas storage tanks in Beijing, another senior official said at a Beijing conference in October 2019.

Emergency peak-shaving plants are designed to meet peak demand levels and alleviate the peak load on facilities like power generation plants.

Apart from the newly approved 5 million mt/year LNG terminal in Tianjin, Beijing Gas has also joined PetroChina in the construction of Phase 3 of the Tangshan LNG terminal, which is expected to complete by the end of 2020, according to PetroChina.

Beijing Gas is mainly engaged in urban gas distribution. It supplies over 10 Bcm of gas to Beijing, comprising more than 50% of the city's total gas demand, according to market sources.

Currently, there are five LNG receiving terminals located in the Bohai Rim region with a total LNG receiving capacity of 30 million mt/year, S&P Global Platts calculations showed.

They are state-owned CNOOC's 2.2 million mt/year floating storage regasification unit, state-owned Sinopec's 10.8 million mt/year LNG terminal in Tianjin, Sinopec's 5 million mt/year LNG terminal in Shandong Qingdao, state-owned PetroChina's 6.5 million mt/year LNG terminal in Hebei Tangshan, and PetroChina's 5.5 million mt/year LNG terminal in Liaoning Dalian.

Besides Beijing Gas' new LNG terminal project, CNOOC, Sinopec and PetroChina are all expanding their existing Tianjin, Qingdao and Tangshan LNG terminals, of which Sinopec and PetroChina's expansion projects are expected to complete by end-2020, while CNOOC's expansion project is due by 2022, according to the three companies.

Once these projects all go on stream as scheduled, LNG receiving capacity in the Bohai Rim region is estimated to be around 40 million mt/year by 2022, up more than 30% from the current 30 million mt/year, Platts calculations showed.