Aug 5 (Reuters) – The gas trading arm of Petrovietnam is in talks with Qatargas over a contract to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), the Vietnamese state oil and gas group said on Friday, with delivery expected in 2013.
PV Gas is expanding its list of potential natural gas suppliers as the fuel becomes increasingly important for power generation. Last year gas accounted for 31.7 percent of the power mix, after hydropower’s 37.6 percent.
Vietnam already has plans to buy gas from Southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia via the trans-ASEAN pipeline.
Hanoi-based PV Gas met a delegation from the world’s biggest LNG producer in late July for “negotiations on a contract to buy LNG” as part of PV Gas’ LNG import plans, the company said in a statement on its website (www.pvgas.com.vn).
It gave no details of potential volumes or timing of a deal.
Qatar can now produce up to 77 million tonnes of super cooled gas a year and had been struggling to find buyers for it until a tsunami wrecked Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in March, increasing the country’s need for other energy sources.
In Vietnam, domestic gas supply fails to meet demand from electricity, urea and other industrial users, the PV Gas statement said, stressing the need for LNG imports.
The country is projected to produce 14 billion cubic metres of gas annually by 2015, up 40 percent from last year.
“Contacting potential partners such as Qatargas is one of the necessary preparatory steps for make the LNG import project a success,” PV Gas said.
In the first phase of PV Gas’ LNG development plan, the firm said it has been building a LNG storage facility in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau that will operate from late 2013 with an annual capacity of 1 million tonnes.
PV Gas said in February that imports would begin in 2013 at the earliest.
In the second phase, PV Gas would build another storage facility to hold between 5 million and 10 million tonnes of LNG a year in the south-central province of Binh Thuan.
PV Gas said it would use its current pipeline network in the eastern and western parts of the southern region for transportation and distribution of gas.
Last month it awarded a $441.6 million deal to build a gas pipeline and gas plant to two domestic.