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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Business
Truckers scramble to meet LNG demand
    2017-November-9  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

LI RUIPENG’S phone has been ringing off the hook with factories and hotels looking to get their hands on prompt supplies of gas.

“Orders started to shoot up from September. Some are asking for deliveries the very next day,” said Li, a manager at privately-run Huapu Gas, which delivers super-chilled gas by truck to customers within a 500-km radius of its base in Tangshan, east of Beijing.

Huapu is one of the fast growing bands of trucking companies that are transforming China’s domestic spot market for gas into a unique and bustling business as the government pushes to wean the country off coal.

Hotels, hospitals and factories have been required to swap their coal-fired boilers for gas ones this year, creating thousands of new standalone gas customers thirsty for the clean fuel.

But with inadequate pipelines and storage tanks, users in the world’s second-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer are scrambling for supplies of imported and locally produced gas from dealers like Li.

He’s currently dispatching nearly 40 trailers a day, each carrying 20 tons of LNG. That’s double the number six months ago.

“Inflexible pricing for pipeline gas, insufficient grid network and lack of storage facilities ... make trucked LNG a unique business in China,” said Chen Zhu, managing director of consultancy SIA Energy.

The trend is a major break from the global industry norm, where buyers and sellers are locked into long-term contracts — some as long as 20 years — and rely on pipeline grids to deliver the fuel.

China’s first gas trailer hit the road in 2003 as trucks run by companies like Guanghui Energy traveled for over a week to ship gas from remote northwestern onshore fields to factories 5,000 kms to the south.

Now, Li and his peers are expected to play a critical role in keeping the world’s most populous nation fueled this winter as it embarks on an experiment to heat homes in nearly 30 northern cities with gas.

Gas hauled by trailers could make up a tenth of China’s total gas consumption of around 240 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2017, compared with 5.6 percent in 2014, said Chen.

And China aims to lift gas to supply 15 percent of its total energy demand by 2030, more than double the current 6 percent.

Gas distributors like the country’s largest player ENN Energy Holdings and niche dealers like Huapu have spent heavily this year expanding their fleet of trailers, each costing nearly 1 million yuan (US$150,300).

Zhangjiagang-based cryogenic equipment maker Santum, controlled by CIMC Enric, the country’s top producer of LNG trailers, sold 600 vehicles in the first nine months of the year, up from 410 in 2016.(SD-Agenies)

 

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