HANGZHOU, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal invested by ENN Group, a Chinese private energy company, began operations with Friday's arrival of a ship loaded with 69,000 tonnes of LNG from Australia.
The terminal is in the city of Zhoushan, which houses China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Its operations testify to the great potential in the fields of oil and gas trade both at home and abroad for private companies.
ENN Group has invested nearly 7.7 billion yuan (about 1.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the terminal project in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province.
The company also signed purchase contracts involving about 1.75 million tonnes of LNG annually, according to Ma Shenyuan, the company's senior vice president.
Given the increasing global demand for energy and great changes in the energy structure, more and more Chinese private enterprises are entering the global oil and gas market, said Xu Xiaoyue, vice mayor of Zhoushan.
The private sector has gradually become a major actor in the domestic and global oil trading industry, contributing to innovation and development in management of crude trading as well as ensuring the stable supply of domestic crude oil, said Li Chenggang, China's assistant commerce minister, at the second International Petroleum and Natural Gas Enterprises Conference held in Zhoushan Thursday.
Currently, an environment-friendly petrochemical base, with an investment of 173 billion yuan from Zhejiang Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (ZPC), a mixed-ownership venture, is under construction in Zhoushan. It will form a crude oil refining capacity of 20 million tonnes by the end of the year and the capacity will increase to 40 million tonnes by 2020, according to Yuan Jiajun, governor of Zhejiang Province.
"Policies, including allowing social capitals to invest in the base and its projects and loosening restrictions on the rights to import crude oil and to use imported crude oil help attract the non-public sector into the petrochemical industry and promote the industrial transformation and upgrade," said Shou Baichun with the Rongsheng International Trade Co., Ltd., one of the initiators of ZPC.