Gate Terminal last year saw a sharp drop in large import unloads last year, down from 21 to 15 – in tonnage terms down from 1.5 million tonnes (mt) to 1mt – as the expected glut of US cargoes failed to materialise. Few had materialised in the first three months of the year and Gate, like other regional terminals, says import trends will remain volatile.
Commercial manager Stefaan Adriaens says Gate will focus on large re-exports, which have proved resilient. Last year, Gate made 12 shipments, compared with 14 in 2015. Gate also carried out 10 small reloads and two LNG transhipments last year.
Gate carried out one transhipment in first-quarter 2017 and is focusing this year on this business and on small-scale opportunities, having opened a third jetty dedicated to small-scale services for launch customer Shell. In March, it secured a second customer that, at the time of going to press, it had chosen not to name.
Shell will deliver a dedicated 6,500m³ LNG bunker-supply ship to be positioned at Gate this summer. “Momentum in ordering LNG-fuelled ships is keeping a steady pace,” Mr Adriaens concludes.
In Belgium, Fluxys LNG is building up its transhipment business and preparing itself to launch commercial ship-to-ship LNG bunker-supply operations, having taken delivery in February of the 5,300m³ Engie Zeebrugge, the world’s first purpose-built vessel.
Fluxys opened Zeebrugge’s second jetty in December. The terminal operator is now studying demand for a third jetty, dedicated to small-scale shipments.
With two of its four deepsea LNG-import terminals in the northwest range, France takes in LNG via Elengy’s Atlantic coast terminal Montoir de Bretagne and, since September, through Europe’s newest deepsea import terminal at Dunkerque.
Last autumn, Elengy signed a memorandum of understanding with The Netherlands’ Gate Terminal to develop regional truck-loading and bunkering services, and to promote LNG as marine fuel in northwest Europe.
Montoir is to position itself as a transhipment hub. Elengy parent Engie has agreed with Russia-based Novatek to transfer cargoes loaded at Yamal LNG in the Arctic Circle for onward shipment via Montoir. Yamal LNG should produce its first cargoes next year.
Dunkerque LNG is owned by trading giant EDF, Fluxys and Total. The 9.4 million tonnes a year (mta) terminal has storage for up to 190,000m³ and supplies both the French and Belgian national grids.
EDF is building up its LNG portfolio, positioning Dunkerque to support its trading ambitions. This year, EDF Trading activates its eight-year deal with South Korea-based Kogas to divert surplus cargoes of up to 4 mta to Europe. Dunkerque is also studying demand for ship-to-ship and truck-loading LNG distribution.