China’s CNOOC loads first large LNG carrier at Zhejiang import terminal

A unit of China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) has completed the first reloading operation to a large LNG carrier at its Ningbo LNG import facility in Zhejiang since the launch of the plant in 2012.

CNOOC’s gas and power unit said in a statement that the 160,000-cbm LNG carrier, Kool Frost, has reloaded about 65,000 tonnes of previously imported LNG on September 11.

After that, the 2014-built vessel owned by CoolCo departed the regasification facility in Zheijang.

State-owned CNOOC Gas and Power did not provide any additional information regarding this shipment or its final destination.

Prior to this, the Zhejiang terminal became the first facility in Zhejiang province to provide LNG for LNG bunkering vessels.

CNOOC’s 30,000-cbm small-scale vessel, Hai Yang Shi You 301, loaded LNG at the Zhejiang LNG terminal in June and after that it delivered about 9,400 cbm to the LNG-powered containership, CMA CGM Unity.

This was the first bonded LNG bunkering operation in the Zhejiang province and the first LNG bunkering operation for CNOOC in the Yangtze River Delta region.

China's CNOOC loads first large LNG carrier at Zhejiang import terminal
Image: CNOOC Gas & Power

Reloaded cargo arrives in Japan

According to its AIS data provided by VesselValue, Kool Frost was on Thursday located offshore Japan’s Himeji.

Kpler said that the reloaded cargo is scheduled to be discharged at the Kansai Electric-operated Himeji LNG import terminal in the following days.

The Brussels-based data and analytics group claims that China previously re-exported LNG cargoes only from the Yangpu LNG terminal in Hainan, which has shipped nine cargoes this year to Japan, Korea, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Kuwait.

According to Kpler, Kansai Electric bought the spot LNG cargo probably to meet increased demand due to higher temperatures in Japan this month.

Other Japanese utilities have recently bought spot cargoes possibly because of concerns over supply disruptions linked to strikes affecting Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone plants in Australia, it said.

Kpler noted that China’s LNG cargo re-export this week comes as state-owned Unipec has issued a tender to buy 24 LNG cargoes for delivery to China from November 2023 to December 2024.

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