Singapore's Energy Market Authority is reviewing future LNG procurement options beyond BG's 3 million mt/year franchise, an EMA official told Platts late last week, with the findings scheduled to be released in a report in the first quarter of 2012.
"The possible arrangements [for future LNG procurement] include options such as appointing one or more LNG aggregators and adopting a free market approach," the EMA official said.
The EMA will issue a consultation paper in the first quarter of 2012, and seek further views from the industry on an LNG import framework, the EMA official said.
Separately, an SLNG spokeswoman said future LNG imports into Singapore are "dependent on what the government wants to do for the next tranche of procurement, which is expected to take place next year."
The UK's BG Group earlier said they were looking for additional storage at the SLNG terminal, beyond that agreed to in their aggregator contract with the EMA, to help develop a natural gas trading business in Singapore.
"The implication of developing a [natural gas] trading business [in Singapore], is increasing our requirement for storage [beyond the 3 million mt/year aggregator contract], which is part of the discussions which we have started and will continue with EMA and SLNG," BG Singapore's general manager Anthony Barker said earlier this month.
The EMA official confirmed discussions with BG for additional storage volumes at the SLNG terminal, with the final volume to develop a trading business in Singapore still under negotiation.
"Regarding storage volumes, EMA and SLNG are in discussions with BG on their intended use of storage volumes to develop LNG trading activities in Singapore," the EMA official said.
The SLNG spokeswoman was unable to comment on the ongoing storage discussions with BG, citing commercial sensitivities.
When asked if there were plans for LNG storage tanks 4 or 5 to be built at the terminal, the SLNG spokeswoman said "depending on the needs of stakeholders and customers, SLNG will expand the capacity of its terminal beyond the current three tanks [6 million mt/year] by building more tanks and regasification facilities; in accordance with those needs on an as and when basis."
The EMA formed and incorporated SLNG on June 30, 2009, as a wholly owned subsidiary to own and develop the LNG terminal. Construction work began on the terminal on March 30, 2010. (Platts)