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PetroChina doubling LNG storage in Caofeidian as demand rises

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Reuters are reporting that PetroChina and Beijing Enterprises Group are expanding LNG storage capacity at a main import facility in northern China as the country boosts infrastructure to meet surging demand for the cleaner fuel.

China is facing a natural gas supply crunch this winter as an aggressive government push to heat millions of homes and thousands of industrial boilers with gas for the first time is driving demand for the fuel faster than the country’s infrastructure could cope with.

PetroChina and Beijing Enterprises Group will each add two 160 000 m3 tanks at Caofeidian – an industrial landfilled zone in the northern city of Tangshan – to double the site’s storage capacity to 1.28 million m3.

The terminal is a key supplier of imported LNG shipped in from Qatar to Australia and pumps the fuel via pipelines mainly to Chinese capital Beijing, the world’s second-largest gas consuming city after Moscow and burns roughly 9% of China’s total gas use.

Beijing has encouraged companies to build both underground storage for pipeline gas and above-ground tanks for super-chilled LNG.

Once the four new tanks are added, Caofeidian will have the largest gas storage space among PetroChina’s three main terminals – the other two in Dalian of Liaoning province and Rudong of Jiangsu.

PetroChina is also aiming to start building its fourth terminal in Shenzhen next year, after several delays due to land and regulatory issues.

PetroChina’s three main operating terminals have a combined annual receiving capacity of 19 million t, or 44 million m3, although on average these facilities run at 40% of capacity.

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