A DELEGATION of bureaucrats, academics and business leaders attended a week-long visit to China late last year, organised by the Australia China Natural Gas Technology Partnership Fund.

This was the fourth visit organised by the Fund, a joint project between the Western Australian Government through the Department of State Development, the Australian Government through the Department of Industry, and the North West Shelf Joint Venture.

While the previous visits were attended only by representatives of this group, representatives from the Australian Embassy in Beijing, academics and representatives of the University of Western Australia and Curtin University were also invited on the 2014 trip.

The itinerary included briefing sessions with the Australian Embassy, National Energy Administration, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Sinopec, and China National Petroleum Corporation (Beijing).

Also on the agenda were a site visit to the Guandong Dapeng LNG receiving terminal at Shenzen and a visit to the Chinese Training Centre at Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou.

Opened in 2005, the Centre offers technical and maintenance training on behalf of a number of Chinese oil and gas companies.

The deputy director of UWA’s Energy and Minerals Institute, Mark Stickells, said the delegation gained valuable on-the-ground insights into China’s projected growth in demand for energy supplies, its plans to embrace cleaner energy sources, and developments in global gas and LNG markets.

The visit builds on a relationship strengthened with an historic 25 year agreement for Australia to supply LNG to China signed in 2002.

A spokesperson for the Department of State Development said the next such visit organised by the Fund would take place later this year.

The most recent visit followed the June 2014 visit of a Chinese delegation to both Perth and Brisbane.

That delegation was organised by China’s National Energy Administration and included representatives from China National Petroleum Corporation, Sinopec, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, and a number of prominent Chinese
shipping companies and shipbuilders.

The Fund also hosts managers from Chinese oil and gas companies in Perth for a three month intensive executive gas training program, offered twice each year. Since the Fund’s inception in 2005, 250 managers have participated in the course.