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BP divests Ningbo LPG assets
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British oil major BP has sold its LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) assets in the port city of Ningbo to a local trader of the fuel, the latest move by the oil giant to slim its LPG business in China.

BP sold the LPG assets in its subsidiary Ningbo BP LPG Co to Oriental Petroleum (Yangtze) Ltd, the British oil company said.

The deal was closed as of August 21, BP said in a statement, but did not disclose financial details.

Ningbo BP LPG Co operates a 500,000 cubic meters LPG terminal on Daxie Island, which is under jurisdiction of Ningbo municipal government.

The terminal, the largest in China, has two refrigerated caves each with a capacity of 250,000 cubic meters and a dock capable of berthing 50,000 dwt vessels.

The sale of Ningbo assets, according to industry experts, is a sign that BP is continuing its strategy of slimming down its LPG business in China, a practice they say the British company has been doing in the past several years.

BP, however, said the deal will not affect its commitment on China's LPG market.

"This transaction does not affect BP's commitment to provide quality products and services to our LPG retailing customers (in China)," BP said in a statement to China Daily yesterday.

In addition to Ningbo LPG assets, BP owns the 400,000 cu m Zhuhai LPG terminal in southern China's Guangdong province, China's second-largest terminal.

Zhangjiagang Oriental Energy Co, which is controlled by Oriental Petroleum (Yangtze) Ltd and listed in Shenzhen, is likely to operate the Ningbo LPG assets.

The Ningbo deal comes on the heels of another BP asset sale in China.

BP last month signed a conditional agreement with the Hong Kong-based Friendly Energy to divest its refrigerated tanks and some related facilities in BP's LPG terminal in Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu province.

The Suzhou LPG terminal has a capacity of a 68,000 cu m and consists of two refrigerated storage tanks both with a capacity of 31,000 cu m and six pressurized storage tanks with a capacity of 1,000 cu m.

(China Daily August 27, 2009)

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