A top official at CPC Corp, Taiwan’s sole LNG importer, has announced that there will be a further delay to the opening of Taiwan’s second LNG import terminal, as a result of a number of pipeline problems and severe weather conditions.

The opening of the 3million tonnes per annum (tpa) terminal has been delayed twice previously, the last deadline having passed in August, due to bad weather and is now planned to be operational as of the first quarter of next year.

According to a statement given to Reuters by Deputy Chief Executive of CPC’s natural gas business, Chung-Long Lee, “The offshore piping from Taichung…to Tatan (power plant), did not go smoothly.”

He continued, “The pipe broke three times and there were many typhoons in Taiwan that year. That made construction difficult.”

CPC has a 25-year agreement with Qatar’s Rasgas to buy 3million tpa of LNG, receiving its first shipment at the South Coast’s Yungen terminal in July of this year, via the Ejnan LNG carrier.

The 690,000 tonnes of LNG bought from Qatar is expected to rise to 1.3million tonnes next year.

Total imports for Taiwan show a steady increase, with 984,000 tonnes being imported in October, up 248,000 tonnes on last year. It is expected that Taiwan will take delivery of around 9.1million tonnes this year rising to 9.7million tonnes in 2009, the highest demand coming from the islands power producers.

With its contracts with Indonesia not being renewed upon expiration, Taiwan is keen to diversify its sources of LNG.

Imports of LNG from Indonesia to Taiwan total approximately 1.58million tonnes per year (tpy). However, an announcement from an official at Pertamina, Indonesia’s state oil and gas firm, stated that it will not be renewing contracts with either South Korea or Taiwan due to declining production from its existing fields.