China will increase its imports of natural gas to its first liquefied natural gas terminal in Guangdong province by almost 25 per cent, Reuters reported. Managers of the project have increased the amount because they have signed sales contracts with 10 buyers, including five power plants.
The terminal will now take 3.7m tonnes a year of super-cooled and compressed gas when the project starts operation in June 2006. The gas will be supplied by Australia under a 20-year contract worth up to US$14bn. China is also planning a second terminal in Fujian province, which is due to start operations in 2007 and will bring total gas import capacity to 6.7m tonnes a year.
Construction of the Guangdong project is expected to start later this year. The total cost is estimated at Yn7.3bn and will include a 305km pipeline as well as shore unloading and storage facilities. Orders have already been placed with a shipyard in Shanghai for two tankers to transport the gas.