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APLNG ships first LNG cargo from third east coast Australia terminal

The Australia Pacific LNG terminal has commenced operations with its first LNG cargo departing from the LNG facility on Curtis Island on board the Methane Spirit, APLNG said in a statement Monday.

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The startup of the APLNG project comes after a slight delay. APLNG had earlier announced that it expected the first cargo to be exported by the end of 2015.

An earlier attempt to load the first cargo aboard the Magellan Spirit was unsuccessful. The Magellan Spirit docked at the APLNG terminal on December 12, cFlow, Platts trade flow software showed. But was unable to lift the commissioning cargo at that time.

By December 25, the vessel had relocated to the BG-operated Queensland Curtis LNG terminal beside APLNG to lift a cargo, leading traders to conclude that a ship swap between BG and APLNG had occurred. The Magellan Spirit was currently offshore Korea Gas Corp.'s Tongyeong LNG terminal, Platts cFlow showed.



The delay in lifting the first cargo from the terminal has led to a snowball effect in the lifting of subsequent cargoes. A ship on charter to China's Sinopec, the BW Pavilion Vanda, continued to remain anchored outside the terminal, after arriving on December 18, Platts cFlow showed.

There was no scheduled timeline for that vessel to dock at APLNG's jetty, port data showed.

The APLNG facility is the third and largest facility on Australia's Curtis Island, following the QCLNG and the Santos-operated Gladstone LNG projects which started operations in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

QCLNG has already started the second train at its project and ramped production up to full capacity.

All three facilities are groundbreaking in being the first to use coalseam natural gas as feedstock for LNG production, though APLNG would have the largest capacity of 9 million mt/year once its second train reaches full capacity.

--Max Gostelow, max.gostelow@platts.com
--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@platts.com