Belgian LNG and LPG carrier owner and operator Exmar NV has signed a USD 200 million financing agreement with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for the Caribbean FLNG, a floating LNG liquefaction and storage unit currently under construction at Wison Heavy Industry’s shipyard in Nantong, China.
King Philippe of Belgium and China’s President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of the agreement between Jiang Jianqing, Chairman of Board of ICBC and Nicolas Saverys, CEO of Exmar.
Exmar says the Caribbean FLNG is the world’s first floating natural gas liquefaction unit. It has the functions of natural gas processing, liquefaction and storage.
The unit comprises a non-propelled barge that will be operated off the Caribbean coast of Colombia for Pacific Rubiales Energy and equipped to convert 72.0 million scf/d of natural gas into LNG (+/- 500,000 tons of LNG per annum) for temporary storage and export.
The Caribbean FLNG is expected to be operational in the second half of 2015.
This project is reportedly China’s biggest exporting project to Belgium in terms of contract value up to now, and also the highest technology project. Belgium is China’s 5th biggest trading partner in the European Union, but the major exporting products to Belgium are low-level industrial products like steel and toys.