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PipeChina halts construction at Beihai LNG terminal after fire kills 5

[BEIJING] PipeChina has suspended construction work at the second phase of its Beihai liquefied natural gas terminal in southern China following a fire that killed five, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

A fire occurred on Monday during pipeline construction near the No 2 storage tank at the terminal's second phase, which is designed to regasify 3 million tonnes of LNG a year and was scheduled to complete construction by June 2020.

Five were killed in the fire and three were severely injured, while one person is still missing, according to a statement from local government on Tuesday.

"PipeChina has asked the on-site contractor to stop all works and is sparing no efforts in the rescue operation," the company said.

A staff member at Beihai, who did not identify themselves, told Reuters by phone that terminal operations have been suspended because of the fire, and it is not known when they will be restarted.

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The staff member did not say if the suspension is affecting all the facilities at Beihai, including the first phase of the terminal, which started operation in 2016, and has a designed handling capacity of 3 million tonnes per year.

Vessels are forbidden to enter and depart the port of Tieshangang where the Beihai terminal is located, according to a report posted by local authorities on Monday.

The Beihai terminal was spun-off from Sinopec in September and is now owned and managed by the country's newly established pipeline company PipeChina.


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