China’s Unipec traded over 5m tonnes of LNG in 2016

18 May 2017 13:30 Source:ICIS

Unipec, a trading subsidiary under China’s state-owned major Sinopec, traded around 5.5m tonnes of LNG in 2016, a sharp jump from the preceding two years.

More than 2m tonnes of the 2016 volumes involved the resale of existing long-term contractual cargoes.

The company traded 1.5m-1.6m tonnes in 2015 and 100,000 tonnes in 2014, Chen Bo, president of Unipec, said at the China LNG & Gas Summit on 17 May.

Unipec delivered cargoes to countries including Singapore, South Korea, Japan, India and Mexico.

Those cargoes were likely from Sinopec’s long-term 7.6mtpa offtake from the two-train Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) export project in Queensland. The major’s contract with APLNG started in January 2016.

The company is expected to continue reselling part of its APLNG offtake this year, if downstream gas demand in China falls.

However, Unipec has not made spot offers since March, after selling at least two APLNG cargoes in the first two months of 2017.

Higher-than-expected gas demand in China in the first quarter meant that Unipec did not have any excess contractual LNG cargoes to sell.

Sinopec prepares fourth terminal

A proposed 3.0mtpa LNG terminal in Wenzhou city in Zhejiang province has received initial government approval, Chen said.

The Wenzhou terminal would be connected to Zhejiang’s provincial gas grid and could start up by 2018. This would be Sinopec’s fourth terminal after those in Beihai, Qingdao and Tianjin.

The terminal in Tianjin is still waiting for regulatory approval, but has a tentative start date of the third quarter.

The project is a joint venture with Zhejiang Energy Group and Wenzhou Port Group. xieli.lee@icis.com

By Xieli Lee