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Dubai to receive first LNG vessel this year

(Bloomberg)
Filed on September 10, 2010

DUBAI — As Dubai plans to receive its first cargo of liquefied natural gas later this year, a ship converted to store the fuel arrived at an export terminal in Qatar, the world’s largest supplier
 of LNG.

The tanker, owned by Golar LNG Ltd., arrived in Ras Laffan on Wednesday, according to AISLive data compiled by Bloomberg. The vessel is scheduled to deliver a commissioning cargo of Qatari LNG to Dubai later this year, according to a June release on Golar LNG’s website.

Qatar will supply LNG to Dubai, about 230 miles (370 kilometres) to the east, during the summer months starting in 2011, Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah said last year.

The 33 year-old Golar Freeze, which can hold 125,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas, is equipped to store and regasify Qatari LNG as part of a $450 million, 10-year contract that the Dubai Supply Authority awarded to Golar LNG in 2008. The tanker is not full, according to the AISLive data.

Dubai, one of seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates, is turning to Qatar for liquefied gas to satisfy rising electricity consumption. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority said last month that peak power demand in the emirate increased by 9.6 per cent during the seven months through July over the same period a year ago.

Power demand in the Arabian Gulf typically peaks in summer, when temperatures can climb to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 Celsius).

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said last year that it had entered an agreement to ship Qatari LNG to Dubai for 15 years. Shell is a shareholder in QatarGas4, an LNG production plant scheduled to start operation later this year.

Qatar already provides gas to the UAE through the Dolphin Energy Ltd. undersea pipeline and plans to boost its annual production capacity for LNG to 77 million tons by the end of this year.

The Golar Freeze was delivered to the Dubai Supply Authority in May, according to Golar LNG’s June release. A Qatar Liquefied Gas Co official, who wouldn’t be named because of company policy, declined to comment on the tanker’s arrival.

The official, speaking in the Qatari capital Doha, said that the company’s plans to supply Dubai with LNG are on schedule.


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