Tianjin Port (Group) Co is negotiating with China National Offshore Oil Corp to establish a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the port to quench the gas shortage in northern China, a top port official said on Thursday.
"The project will include an LNG dock and receiving station that can handle 3 million tons of LNG imported from the Middle East," Yu Rumin, chairman of Tianjin Port, the country's third-biggest port by cargo throughput, told China Daily in an exclusive interview.
The project aims to help boost the supply of the fuel, particularly in Beijing and Tianjin, Yu said. He hopes that the project will become an additional growth engine for the port at Tianjin, 120 km southeast of Beijing.
The country's natural gas apparent demand grew by 15.9 percent from a year earlier to 11.4 billion cubic meters in January.
The apparent demand includes domestic production and imports, but excludes exports.
Tianjin Port reached a cargo throughput of 413 million tons in 2010, an 8.4 percent increase over the previous year. Its container capacity hit 10.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in the same period.
"We aim to further expand our capacity in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) to handle 550 million tons of cargo and 190 million TEU of containers," said Yu.
In addition, to be in line with the shift of the country's trade flows, Tianjin Port will focus on expanding its international lines to South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, the major destinations for Chinese firms' overseas expansion.
Tianjin Port has already opened international lines linking North America, Europe and Australia.
"Our country's trade volume may not have robust growth with such industrialized areas and countries; we have to explore more international lines out of these areas," said Yu.
He also said that Tianjin Port is in talks with several large domestic companies that have an overseas presence to build up or operate ports overseas.