Yangkou Port allows round-the-clock docking, departing of LNG tankers
The LNG tanker UMM SLAL docks at the PetroChina Jiangsu LNG Terminal at Yangkou Port on Dec 5. [Photo/ntfabu.com]
Yangkou Port – located in Rudong county, in Nantong city in East China's Jiangsu province – on Dec 5 began providing all-night docking and departing services for LNG, or liquid natural gas, tankers.
On the evening of Dec 5 – escorted by high-powered tugs, coast guard boats and fishery administration vessels – the Q-Max LNG tanker UMM SLAL from Qatar departed the PetroChina Jiangsu LNG Terminal at Yangkou Port.
In the past, LNG terminals could unload at night, but the tankers could not berth or depart at night.
Under the term Q-Max, the "Q" stands for Qatar and the "Max" designates the maximum size of tanker that are able to dock at LNG terminals in Qatar. LNG tankers of this type are the largest LNG carriers in the world.
The berthing and departures of large LNG tankers are easily affected by natural conditions such as tide and weather. To ensure their safety, careful operations are carried out when the tide is at a high level.
"We only had one or two tidal periods available in the daytime, but when it becomes feasible to operate at night, we can use up to four tidal periods," said Liu Tao, a senior specialist of maritime management at the PetroChina Jiangsu LNG Terminal.
The initiative has effectively improved the turnover efficiency of LNG tankers and enhanced the terminal's capacity for receiving LNG and unloading it in the winter, Liu added.