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Limited output disruption from fire at Malaysia's Bintulu LNG plant: sources

Singapore — Malaysia's Bintulu LNG plant is expected to experience limited production disruptions or cargo loading delays after a fire broke out at the plant on Friday morning, industry sources told S&P Global Platts.

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Authorities at the Petronas facility have gotten the situation under control and there is little likelihood of a significant production impact as a result, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Other market sources confirmed that there was minimal damage to plant facilities and substantial cargo loading delays are not to be expected.

One northeast Asian end-user told Platts Monday that they had not received any communication from Petronas regarding a delay in their shipments.

However, no vessels have left the Bintulu port since February 22, Platts trade flow software cFlow showed.

LNG Lerici, a 35,760 dwt vessel, was scheduled to enter the Bintulu port on February 24, but has been anchored partially laden outside the port since February 23, cFlow showed.

Another LNG carrier, Seri Alam, a 83,824 dwt vessel, has been anchored partially laden outside Bintulu's LNG complex since February 24, according to cFlow.

The Bintulu LNG facility also sparked supply concerns before the fire broke out, with the monthly loadings in February dropping by about 28% to 57,270 mt, Platts Analytics data showed.

Petronas was heard to have bought four LNG spot cargoes for end-February to early-March delivery, following slower loadings from the Bintulu LNG complex, market sources said.

In fact, Petronas was heard to have been seeking a prompt delivery cargo late last week--just before the fire incident occurred, according to two traders.

A fire broke out at the plant's sea cooling water outfall channel on February 22 at 6 am local time (2200 GMT) and the fire was put out within an hour, local reports said.

This is the second instance of a fire breaking out at Petronas' LNG complex with the previous one in July 2016, a trader said.

Petronas LNG complex has a total of nine trains and an annual production capacity of about 30 million mt.

-- Srijan Kanoi, srijan.kanoi@spglobal.com

-- Kenneth Foo, kenneth.foo@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Elizabeth Thang, newsdesk@spglobal.com