Qatargas makes first LNG delivery to China’s Hainan terminal

by  — 23 September 2014

Given that Qatar is among just 30 countries currently able to conduct cross-border payments for settlement of trade transactions in Chinese renminbi (RMB), and to place remunerative term deposits in the currency, and the only country with such vast gas wealth, it was only a matter of time before Qatargas delivered its first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to China National Oil Corporation (CNOOC)

A Qatargas LNG carrier transfers the first load of LNG to China recently, marking the beginning of what many hope will be a growing relationship between the Chinese and Qataris. (Image Qatargas).

The Qatargas cargo arrived at China National Oil Corporation’s (CNOOC) Hainan LNG terminal in August aboard the Q-Max class LNG vessel Rasheeda and will be used to commission the new LNG terminal owned by CNOOC.

“This is an important milestone for Qatargas in that it highlights Qatargas’ capability to supply LNG to customers around the globe safely and reliably, and will further strengthen the relationship between both companies over the long term,” said Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatargas’ chief executive officer.

The Hainan LNG terminal, located in the eponymous Chinese province, will have a first phase receiving capacity of three million tonnes per annum (MTA), adding to CNOOC’s operating LNG terminals located in 

the Shanghai Municipality, and the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian and Zhejiang, thus maintaining its position as China’s largest LNG importer. This first delivery to Hainan is part of the existing sales and purchase agreement signed in 2008. The first delivery of LNG as part of this contract from Qatar to China through CNOOC was made in October 2009. Overall, this is the third time Qatargas has provided a commissioning cargo for one of CNOOC’s LNG receiving terminals and Hainan represents the sixth LNG receiving terminal overall in China to use LNG supplied by Qatargas for commissioning activities.

This neatly accords with the view of Simon Williams, chief economist for Middle East North Africa (MENA), HSBC, in Dubai, who underlined that: “The longer-term perspective is that in five years’ time, using the RMB is going to be a requirement for any Middle East firm serious about developing its trading links with China.”

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