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China’s LNG Imports May Quadruple by 2015, LNG Shipbuilder Says

China may more than quadruple imports of liquefied natural gas in the six years through 2015 because of increased consumption of the cleaner-burning fuel, said an official from the nation’s only builder of LNG vessels.

Imports may rise to 25 million metric tons a year as the nation’s energy demand is climbing, Shen Ning, vice director of business and marketing at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., said in an interview in Shanghai yesterday. Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has built all of the nation’s LNG tankers.

China’s LNG imports surged 66 percent to 5.5 million tons last year from a year earlier. The world’s biggest polluting nation wants to triple the use of gas to about 10 percent of energy consumption by 2020.

The shipbuilding company, a unit of China State Shipbuilding Corp., has delivered five LNG vessels to transport the fuel to domestic terminals and is building another 145,000 cubic-meter LNG tanker, Shen said.

The company is developing its third shipyard on Changxing Island in Shanghai, which will more than double its LNG vessel building capacity from three vessels a year currently, he said. The facility will be completed in 2012, he said.

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