UK’s South Hook to get first non-Qatari LNG tanker

High freight rates are weighing on Asian demand, with deliveries of LNG heading to northwest Europe instead. (Shutterstock)
Updated 26 October 2018
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UK’s South Hook to get first non-Qatari LNG tanker

  • Commodities trader Vitol said it would import LNG in the Yari tanker into South Hook on Oct. 31
  • South Hook has been upgraded so it can receive LNG that is not just from Qatar

LONDON: Britain’s South Hook liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal is scheduled to receive its first tanker of LNG not supplied by Qatar at the end of this month.
Commodities trader Vitol said it would import LNG in the Yari tanker into South Hook on Oct. 31. The tanker is coming from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in the US.
The South Hook LNG Terminal, located in Milford Haven in west Wales, has received LNG from Qatar since it became operational in 2010, where it is regasified and delivered into the gas grid. It can provide around 20 percent of Britain’s natural gas needs.
Qatar is the leading LNG exporter to Britain but it has also found new demand from countries such as Pakistan, Poland and Turkey.
South Hook has been upgraded so it can receive LNG that is not just from Qatar. The shareholders in the South Hook LNG Terminal Company are Qatar Petroleum, Exxon Mobil Corporation and Total.
South Hook Gas is responsible for managing the terminal’s import capacity.
Elsewhere, Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas fell to a more than two-month low this week amid increased supply and lower demand especially in Japan, which is expecting a warmer-than-usual winter and the restart of nuclear reactors.
High freight rates are also weighing on Asian demand, with deliveries of LNG heading to northwest Europe instead.
December spot LNG fell to the lowest since Aug. 10.
Illustrating the tepid demand, a fleet of half-a-dozen tankers carrying unsold LNG has been floating in Singapore and Malaysian waters for up to two weeks, traders said this week.
The ships are carrying a total of around 1 million cubic meters of LNG, worth more than $200 million at current spot market prices.
The LNG cargoes were purchased ahead of the northern hemisphere winter season in a strategic move but are now
failing to find buyers, several traders told Reuters.


‘Don’t be too optimistic’: Huawei employees fret at US ban

Updated 6 min 18 sec ago
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‘Don’t be too optimistic’: Huawei employees fret at US ban

  • This week Google, whose Android operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones, said it would cut ties with Huawei
  • Another critical partner, ARM Holdings, said it was complying with the US restrictions

BEIJING: While Huawei’s founder brushes aside a US ban against his company, the telecom giant’s employees have been less sanguine, confessing fears for their future in online chat rooms.
Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei declared this week the company has a hoard of microchips and the ability to make its own in order to withstand a potentially crippling US ban on using American components and software in its products.
“If you really want to know what’s going on with us, you can visit our Xinsheng Community,” Ren told Chinese media, alluding to Huawei’s internal forum partially open to viewers outside the company.
But a peek into Xinsheng shows his words have not reassured everyone within the Shenzhen-based company.
“During difficult times, what should we do as individuals?” posted an employee under the handle Xiao Feng on Thursday.
“At home reduce your debts and maintain enough cash,” Xiao Feng wrote.
“Make a plan for your financial assets and don’t be overly optimistic about your remuneration and income.”
This week Google, whose Android operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones, said it would cut ties with Huawei as a result of the ban.
Another critical partner, ARM Holdings — a British designer of semiconductors owned by Japanese group Softbank — said it was complying with the US restrictions.
“On its own Huawei can’t resolve this problem, we need to seek support from government policy,” one unnamed employee wrote last week, in a post that received dozens of likes and replies.
The employee outlined a plan for China to block off its smartphone market from all American components much in the same way Beijing fostered its Internet tech giants behind a “Great Firewall” that keeps out Google, Facebook, Twitter and dozens of other foreign companies.
“Our domestic market is big enough, we can use this opportunity to build up domestic suppliers and our ecosystem,” the employee wrote.
For his part, Ren advocated the opposite response in his interview with Chinese media.
“We should not promote populism; populism is detrimental to the country,” he said, noting that his family uses Apple products.
Other employees strategized ways to circumvent the US ban.
One advocated turning to Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao to buy the needed components. Another dangled the prospect of setting up dozens of new companies to make purchases from US suppliers.
Many denounced the US and proposed China ban McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and all-American movies and TV shows.
“First time posting under my real name: we must do our jobs well, advance and retreat with our company,” said an employee named Xu Jin.
The tech ban caps months of US effort to isolate Huawei, whose equipment Washington fears could be used as a Trojan horse by Chinese intelligence services.
Still, last week Trump indicated he was willing to include a fix for Huawei in a trade deal that the two economic giants have struggled to seal and US officials issued a 90-day reprieve on the ban.
In Xinsheng, an employee with the handle Youxin lamented: “I want to advance and retreat alongside the company, but then my boss told me to pack up and go,” followed by two sad-face emoticons.