PNG LNG loads first cargo

A first cargo is being loaded at the ExxonMobil-led new liquefaction start up PNG LNG.

Officials from shareholders in the Papua New Guinea-based LNG project have made statements that that shipment is being loaded on to the 177,000-cbm Spirit of Hela (built 2011).

The Mitsui OSK Lines vessel, the former Ben Badis, has just started its long-term charter to the project.

Electronic data show the vessel is currently berthed off at the new LNG plant’s export terminal near Port Moresby.

The vessel is due to head to Japan to discharge the shipment.

Two-train, 6.9 million tonnes per annum PNG LNG has taken four years to construct. The plant has started up ahead of schedule. The bulk of production has been sold on long-term contracts to four buyers in China, Taiwan and Japan.

Papua New Guinea brings the list of LNG producing nations to 18.

ExxonMobil is the lead shareholder in PNG LNG with a 33.2% stake. Partners Oil Search controls 29%, National Petroleum Co of PNG 16.8%, Santos 13.5% with Nippon Oil, MRDC — a grouping of PNG landowners — and Petromin holding the balance.