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Energy

UPDATE 1-PipeChina halts construction at Beihai LNG terminal after fire kills five

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BEIJING/SINGAPORE, Nov 3 (Reuters) - PipeChina has suspended construction work at the second phase of its Beihai liquefied natural gas terminal in southern China after a fire that killed five people, the company said on Tuesday.

Monday’s fire broke out near the No.2 storage tank of the second phase designed to regasify 3 million tonnes of LNG each year, completion of which had been set for June.

Apart from the dead, three people were severely injured, and one person was missing, local government officials said in a statement.

“PipeChina has asked the on-site contractor to stop all works and is sparing no effort in the rescue operation,” the company said in a statement.

A Beihai staff member, who did not reveal their identity, told Reuters by telephone that terminal operations were suspended because of the fire, and when they would resume was unknown.

The staff member did not say if the terminal’s first phase was among the facilities affected by the suspension. Designed with a capacity to handle 3 million tonnes a year, the first phase started operation in 2016.

The Tieshangang port, where the Beihai terminal is located, is closed to ships, local authorities said in a post on Monday.

Spun off from Sinopec in September, the Beihai terminal is now owned and managed by newly established pipeline company PipeChina.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu in Singapore and Muyu Xu in Beijing; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Clarence Fernandez

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