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PV Gas receives Vietnam’s first LPG cargo from Ichthys: sources

Vietnam has received its first LPG cargo from the Inpex-operated Ichthys project around end-December, the second Asian country after China to take delivery from the LNG field off northwestern Australia, market sources familiar with the matter said this week.

A third LPG cargo from Ichthys is on the way to Japan.

The 44,000 mt mixed refrigerated cargo arrived at Vung Tau port in southern Vietnam on December 29 aboard the VLGC BW Elm, a shipping source said on Wednesday.

The cargo was lifted by French oil company Total aboard the 58,136-dwt vessel around mid-December and left the Ichthys terminal near Darwin on December 22, according to S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow.

The cargo was first sold to another western trading firm, which in turn delivered it to PetroVietnam subsidiary PV Gas, as part of its annual term contract, said a Vietnamese source. Under the contract, PV Gas takes delivery of one cargo per month and the Ichthys stem comes under the contract’s January delivery program, the source added.

The source declined to reveal the name of the western trader, but other trade sources said that Vitol has a term supply contract since December with PV Gas, which has around 60% of Vietnam’s market share.

The Vietnamese source said they would welcome future LPG shipments from Ichthys. “The quality is good for us, for household usage,” the source added.

The cargo delivered to Vietnam was the second that Total has lifted from the Ichthys project.

TOTAL’S SECOND ICHTHYS SHIPMENT

Total loaded the first-ever cargo from Ichthys, evenly split between propane and butane, around November 16 aboard the time-chartered VLGC Hellas Gladiator. It was delivered at Yantai terminal to Chinese propane dehydrogenation plant operator Wanhua Chemical around end-November, according to a source familiar with the matter and Platts cFlow.

Another 44,000 mt evenly split Ichthys cargo is en-route to Japan’s Sakaide port after it was lifted over January 1-3 by top Japanese LPG supplier Astomos Energy, and is due to arrive on January 25, according to a company source and Platts cFlow.

Vietnam’s LPG imports for the first 11 months last year were around 1.34 million mt, up 3.4% year on year, preliminary customs data showed.

The country’s annual consumption is growing nearly 10% and is projected to surpass 2 million mt in 10 years, PV Gas data show, as the economy grows around 7% and households shift from using coal.

Total has a 30% stake in the Ichthys project, which is led by Japan’s upstream company Inpex, with a 62.245% operating stake. Japanese LNG customers Tokyo Gas owns 1.575%, Osaka Gas 1.2%, Kansai Electric Power 1.2%, Jera 0.735% and Toho Gas 0.42%; while Taiwan’s state-run CPC holds a 2.625% interest.

Astomos Energy has concluded a sales and purchase agreement with Inpex Trading to buy Inpex’s equity lifting volumes, including for those from minor stakeholders of LPG produced from the Ichthys project, an Inpex spokesman had said.

Under the agreement, Astomos will buy up to 70% of Ichthys’ equity production volume for an unspecified period from Inpex Trading, a wholly owned unit of Inpex, on a FOB basis, the spokesman said.

Once the project touches peak output of 1.6 million mt/year of LPG, Inpex Trading’s Ichthys lifting volumes — including from minor stakeholders — will be more than 1 million mt/year, according to Platts calculations.
Source: Platts

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