May 15, 2018 / 8:27 AM / 5 days ago

UPDATE 1-Angola LNG steps up exports ahead of maintenance

(Adds company comments in paragraphs 3-5)

By Jessica Jaganathan

SINGAPORE, May 15 (Reuters) - Angola’s sole liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is stepping up exports of cargoes in the spot market ahead of maintenance, three industry sources said on Tuesday.

The plant has issued several tenders in the spot market for LNG cargoes to load in May and June, the sources said.

Angola’s Soyo plant, which has a capacity of 5.2 million tonnes of LNG per year, will be undergoing a planned shutdown for maintenance in July, with production expected to resume in early August, a company spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on the plant’s recent rise in exports, saying Angola LNG will not comment on its production planning or status of LNG sales.

“At full production, it is expected that up to 70 LNG cargoes per year may leave the Angola LNG plant. And, Angola LNG will supply 5.2 million tonnes per year of LNG, along with natural gas, propane, butane and condensate,” she added.

“They are trying to sell as much as they can before they have to shut for maintenance,” one source said.

Angola exported a record high of nearly 500,000 tonnes of LNG last month, up 10 percent from March, data from Thomson Reuters Eikon showed.

For May loading, the company has already issued tenders to sell at least four spot cargoes, the sources said.

Angola’s exports to Asia have also been gradually increasing, although there was a dip last month. Its cargoes to Asia have mainly been heading to India, Japan, South Korea and China, the shipping data showed.

Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in SINGAPORE; Additional reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic in LONDON; Editing by Tom Hogue and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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