China, the world's second-biggest importer of LNG after Japan, needs underground gas facilities to address the imbalance between lower gas consumption during the summer and a spike in demand during winter for heating.
Towngas will build 10 underground storage facilities with a total capacity of 453 million cubic metres in the first phase by 2023, and 15 more with a total capacity of 701 million cubic metres in a second phase by 2026, said Zhu Jianying, senior Vice President at Towngas.
The storage facilities, which will link the pipelines of state-owned PetroChina and Sinopec, will be located in Changzhou city and Yixing city in Jiangsu province in eastern China.
The company aims to use imported LNG to supplement its gas storage and has invested in berths in southern and eastern ports in China, Zhu said on the sidelines of a conference, declining to provide details on the investment.
The company expects to sell 26 bcm of natural gas to city gas customers in China this year, up from the 22.5 bcm it sold to customers in 23 cities, he said.
The company already runs a gas storage facility, which started operations in October last year, with a capacity of 89 million cubic metres, which Zhu said will be expanded to 160 million cubic metres by this winter.
(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh, writing by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Kim Coghill and Louise Heavens)
By Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh