Completion of the Meizhou Bay navigation improvement project will enable CNOOC’s Fujian LNG terminal to receive Q-Flex liquefied natural gas carriers in the future.
The current capacity of the navigation channel allows only 66,000 cubic meter tankers to sail through to the Fujian LNG terminal.
“Growing demand for LNG in the domestic market requires larger tankers, for example, 217,000 cubic meter Q-Flex tankers. Larger tankers would reduce transportation costs substantially,” said Xu Guoyang, a manager of CNOOC’s production and operation department.
The project, supported by a $50 million loan from World Bank entails widening and deepening 21.5 kilometers of the existing main channel through dredging and rock blasting.
Located between Quanzhou and Putian in the middle of the coast of Fujian Province, the Meizhou Bay Port is a major bulk port, handling approximately 40 million tons of freight in 2010 at 46 berths spread over four port areas.
World Bank noted in its statement that, upon completion of the project in 2019, the main navigation channel will be upgraded to a 300,000 DWT standard that will allow for unidirectional tide-independent navigation of Q-Flex LNG ships, as well as unidirectional tide-dependent navigation of bulk cargo ships up to 400,000 DWT, the world’s largest bulk vessels.