World's biggest LNG tanker unloads at Enagas plant

MADRID, April 7 Mon Apr 7, 2008 2:26pm BST

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MADRID, April 7 (Reuters) - Spanish gas distribution company Enagas (ENAG.MC) on Monday said the largest liquid natural gas (LNG) tanker ever to unload at a European terminal had tied up at one of its regasification plants.

The 210,000 cubic metre "Q-flex" type vessel is the largest of its type in the world and set sail from Qatar, from where Spain imported some 53,000 gigawatt hours of natural gas last year, or 13 percent of the total.

The tanker docked at Cartagena, in southeast Spain.

Spain produces virtually no natural gas and is a major importer of LNG by tanker to regasification plants, and also imports from Algeria by pipeline.

An Enagas statement added that previously, the largest LNG tanker to tie up at one of its terminals had a capacity of 140,000 cubic metres.

Enagas owns three regasification plants in Spain and is constructing a fourth.

The company expects to unload more LNG tankers in future, mainly from Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria and the Gulf. It also plans to expand regasification capacity to have a wider choice of suppliers.

In a separate statement, energy company Gas Natural (GAS.MC) said it would take delivery of the LNG cargo at southeastern port Cartagena.

The cargo was chartered by Qatargas, with whom Gas Natural contracts to supply some 4 billion cubic metres a year. The gas would be enough to run a 1,200 megawatt combined cycle power plant owned by Gas Natural in Cartagena. (Reporting by Martin Roberts; Editing by Margaret Orgill)