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UPDATE 1-Singapore appoints two more term LNG importers

(Adds statement from Exxon)

SINGAPORE, March 25 (Reuters) - Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) said on Thursday that it has appointed ExxonMobil LNG Asia Pacific and Sembcorp Fuels (Singapore) as term liquefied natural gas importers for the city state, increasing the number of players to four.

The regulator issues licenses for term LNG importers under gas sales agreements of one year or more. Currently, there are two term liquefied natural gas (LNG) importers in Singapore, Pavilion Energy Singapore and Shell Eastern Trading.

The licenses allow the companies to import and sell LNG into Singapore.

“To enhance competition and give gas buyers in Singapore more options, EMA conducted a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process to select up to two more term LNG importers,” it said in a statement.

Exxon and Sembcorp were selected as their proposals were the most competitive, EMA said.

Exxon said in a separate statement that Singapore is a hub for its LNG activities including trading, and the management of its LNG cargo logistics and operations.

The LNG unit in Singapore also handles marketing of Exxon’s equity LNG and has a market development team, the company added.

Singapore plans to import more of the super-cooled fuel as contracts for natural gas supplied via pipelines from neighbouring countries are due to expire.

The country aims to position itself as an LNG trading hub for Asia as it seeks to capitalise on an expected rise in LNG imports in the region, driven by depleting gas production and growing electricity demand. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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