APLNG to send first gas

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Origin Energy’s Australian Pacific LNG plant is expected to export its first cargo of gas tomorrow, when the tanker Methane Spirit is scheduled to leave.

The shipment has experienced delays, as first gas was originally scheduled for late 2015.

Gas production from Train 1 began on December 11 after ten days of commissioning the $24.7 billion plant.

With both trains online, APLNG says it will be capable of exporting nine million tonnes of gas each year.

By way of comparison, the QCLNG plant owned by QGC and BG Group will peak at 8 million tonnes per year, with 120 ships per year.

The APLNG plant is fed by more than 970 gas wells producing in the Surat Basin.

Origin Energy owns the plant in partnership with ConocoPhillips and Sinpec, the primary customer in China.

AFR reported that with weaker-than-expected gas demand Sinopec seeks to minimise the volume of gas it is expected to buy from Origin, bringing fears it may try to renege on the contract.

Origin CEO Grant King tried to dispel the rumours, saying the company had no reason to believe Sinopec would not meet all its obligations on the contract.