The huge tanker bringing the long-anticipated first shipment of LNG to Milford Haven could be off the UK’s coast within a week.

Longer than three football pitches, the Korean-built Tembek can hold more than 200,000 cubic metres of LNG cooled to -161ºc.

After leaving Qatar, the Tembek was due to arrive at the Suez Canal on January 23rd and is capable of making its way to the UK in about a week.

However, before the giant Tembek offloads its cargo, it will have to wait while the finishing touches are put to the South Hook terminal in Herbrandston.

“We can confirm that the Tembek has left the Arabian Gulf en route for Milford Haven,” said a South Hook LNG spokesman.

“The Tembek arrival will be timed to coincide with the completion of final commissioning steps at the South Hook LNG terminal, which is expected in the next few weeks.”

The first shipments of LNG to regassification terminals such as South Hook are usually used to cool down pipes and storage tanks to operating temperature.

In its first phase, South Hook LNG is expected to receive up to 10.5billion cubic metres of gas every year. This will increase as more storage tanks and vapourisers come into use during phase two of the project.