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SINGAPORE, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Singapore plans to build a second terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG), as it aims to create a regional trading hub for the fuel, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday.
The city-state - located strategically on the main shipping route between Europe and Asia - started commercial operations of its first LNG terminal in May last year with an initial capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per year (tpy).
A new storage tank that increases the capacity to 6 million tpy was officially opened on Tuesday. The terminal's capacity will be increased to 9 million tpy in 2017, while another 6 million tpy can be added at the site, Lee said at the opening.
"But that is the limit because of land constraints, hence we will also build a second LNG terminal," he said, adding that potential sites in eastern Singapore are being studied.
The new terminal will also support industrial sites and power plants, the prime minister said.
Singapore aims to position itself as an LNG trading hub for Asia as it is located between producers such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia, and countries with growing demand such as China, India and Thailand.
Several global players, such as GDF Suez, BP and Statoil, have already set up LNG trading desks in the city-state over the last several years. (Reporting By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Pravin Char)