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Singapore opens first LNG terminal, plans for 2nd terminal

Singapore is planning to build a second liquefied natural gas terminal, while expanding the capacity of the first terminal.

SINGAPORE: Singapore is planning to build a second liquefied natural gas terminal, while expanding the capacity of the first terminal.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced this at the official opening of Singapore's first LNG terminal on Jurong Island on Tuesday evening.

On the second LNG terminal plan, he said the government is studying a few potential sites in the east.

Built at a cost of S$1.7 billion, the first LNG terminal started operations last May and is on track for further expansion.

The LNG terminal is located in the southwestern part of Jurong Island.

The government said it plans to add a fourth storage tank which will increase the terminal's throughput capacity from six to nine million tonnes by annum by 2017.

In 2013, more than 90 per cent of the electricity in Singapore was generated using natural gas. Before the LNG terminal was built, virtually all of Singapore's natural gas supply was imported via pipelines from Malaysia and Indonesia. 

But with the LNG terminal in operation, Singapore can import natural gas in liquefied form via large ocean tankers from countries as far away as Trinidad and Tobago.

LNG now makes up 20 per cent of Singapore's natural gas demand.

Mr Lee said: "Because there are more supplier vying for our business, we can obtain more competitive prices. And with more gas available, and new generation capacity entering the market, electricity generation becomes more competitive, which will benefit consumers."

He said a competitive request for proposal will be launched for the next tranche of LNG imports by June.

Mr Lee added that although oil prices have quadrupled since 1995, electricity prices in Singapore have gone up by just 40 per cent over the same period.

He said: "Without market liberalisation, the tendency would have been to pass on the extra cost, and consumers and firms would be paying today much higher electricity bills.

"This is a good example of how private operators, working in competitive markets, can outperform state-owned nationalised industries."

Mr Lee said Singapore will also explore other new energy options, like solar energy. He said when solar technology becomes more competitive, Singapore will be ready to deploy it on a larger scale. 

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