China has reportedly commenced construction on a $1bn natural gas import and storage base in the southern coastal province of Guangdong.

Located at Huidong county of Huizhou city, the terminal will have an annual receiving capacity of 4 million tonnes under phase-one development.

Guangdong targets to begin operations at the import facility by the end of 2023, official Xinhua news agency reported.

The Huizhou terminal comprises a berth that will a capacity to dock up to 266,000m3  tankers of liquefied natural gas and three storage tanks each sized 200,000m3.

Under the phase two development of the project, the facility’s handling capacity is planned to be increased to 10 million tonnes a year. It will include the addition of three 260,000m3 tanks.

ExxonMobil is progressing talks with the project partners for a joint investment in the Huizhou gas terminal, Reuters reported.

In September 2018, the US energy company signed a preliminary deal with Guangdong province for billion dollar investments in the manufacturing hub.

The deal also included investments in a petrochemical complex and an LNG terminal in Huizhou.

Reuters quoted a Beijing-based company representative as saying: “ExxonMobil is progressing project discussions with potential partners.”

In November last year, the news agency reported that China’s offshore oil and gas producer China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Group was planning to add six LNG storage tanks at the Binhai terminal in the in Yancheng City of Jiangsu Province.

The six tanks are expected to add a total of 1.62 million cubic metres of LNG storage to the Binhai terminal.