Along with the announcement that the European Commission has cleared the purchase of Engie’s portfolio of upstream LNG assets by Total comes news that Titan LNG and sister company Rolande have acquired Engie LNG Solutions BV, which is responsible for Engie’s downstream activities in the Netherlands and Belgium.
These developments come a week after the sale of Engie’s Everett LNG import terminal in Boston to US power utility Exelon Energy. Opened in 1971, Everett is the oldest LNG receiving facility in the US. It was acquired by a constituent member of the Engie group in 2000.
In announcing its approval of the US$1.49Bn Total deal, the European Commission concluded that the acquisition would not give rise to competition concerns since there is only limited overlap between the activities of Total and Engie in the wholesale supply, transport and regasification of LNG.
In securing the Engie LNG portfolio, Total will acquire a range of long-term LNG sales and purchase agreements (SPAs), an LNG carrier fleet, access to regasification capacities in Europe and a participating interest in Cameron LNG, a US LNG export project under development in the US state of Louisiana.
The Engie transaction adds 2.5 mta of LNG liquefaction capacity to Total’s existing portfolio, ensuring a rise to an aggregate 23 mta by 2020.
The Engie SPAs will boost Total’s LNG supply base to 28 mta by 2020, with product originating in Algeria, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, Qatar and the US.
By gaining access to the 14 mta of regasification capacity that Engie held in Europe, Total can now call on an aggregate 18 mta of LNG regas capacity worldwide. The acquisition also means that Total now controls a fleet of 10 LNG carriers.
When the takeover by the French oil and gas giant was first announced in November 2017, Engie stated that it wished to keep its downstream activities, including the regasification infrastructures and LNG retail end-customer sales, in order to further accelerate its development in this area. The recent Exelon and Titan LNG/Rolande transactions must cast doubt on the extent of these intentions.
The acquisition of Engie LNG Solutions provides Rolande with an additional four LNG truck-fuelling stations, boosting its overall network to 12 such facilities. Titan LNG will similarly merge its own marine activities into those of Engie LNG Solutions.
Titan is embarking on the construction of a fleet of LNG bunkering pontoons as part of a drive to build a strong presence in the LNG as marine fuel market. The first bunkering pontoon in the series, FlexFueler001, is set to go into operation in the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam port range later this year.
Engie was created in 2008 when the activities of Gaz de France and the Suez group were merged. The company was rebranded Engie in 2015.