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China's CNOOC receives first LNG cargo at Tianjin FSRU


China National Offshore Oil Corp has received the first cargo of LNG at its new Tianjin floating LNG receiving project in eastern China, the company said Monday.

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The 59,000 mt LNG cargo onboard the Cape Ann vessel arrived on November 21, marking the official start of trials at the project, CNOOC said, without disclosing where the cargo came from.

The Tianjin floating, storage and regasification unit is China's first such facility.

The first phase of the project comprises an FSRU, an accompanying berth and two 30,000 cubic meter storage tanks. It has an LNG receiving capacity of 2.2 million mt/year, roughly equivalent to 3 billion cubic meters/year of natural gas.

The 145,000 cu m Cape Ann vessel is equipped with a regasification system which allows it to discharge gas at high pressure into deepwater ports. It belongs to Norway's Hoegh LNG but is under a 20-year charter until 2030 to France's GDF Suez.

In April this year, GDF Suez agreed to sublet the vessel to CNOOC for up to five years. Hoegh LNG said it would continue to be operator.

GDF Suez also started a sales contract in March this year to deliver a total 2.6 million mt of LNG to CNOOC over the 2013-2016 period.

The Tianjin terminal is CNOOC's second LNG receiving terminal to be brought online recently. The company commissioned the 3.5 million mt/year Zhuhai LNG import terminal in southern Guangdong province in late October, with a cargo of LNG from Qatargas.

With the latest additions, CNOOC now has six operational LNG receiving terminals along China's eastern coast, with total capacity of 24.4 million mt/year.

--Song Yen Ling,
--Edited by Irene Tang,