BY DONALD HOOK
THE recent announcement that China’s largest refiner, Sinopec
Corp, has signed an agreement to buy liquefied natural gas from PNG was well
covered in the Chinese media.
Under the agreement, Sinopec will purchase 2 million tons
of LNG per annum for 20 years from the Exxon Mobil-led PNG project.
The gas will arrive at Qingdao
in Shandong Province, where Sinopec will build a LNG
terminal. Initially, it will have a capacity of 3 million tons a year but this
will be expanded to 5-6 million tons.
The English-language China
Daily Business quoted a senior official of Sinopec as saying the terminal
will provide long term, reliable and clean natural gas resources to the Shandong market.
However, the official did not disclose when the terminal
would come into operation.
received its first LNG shipment in May 2006. It plans to build more than 10
terminals on the east coast to meet a government target to double the use of
natural gas in five years.
At present, China
imports large amounts of LNG from Qatar
in the Middle East.