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Six Spanish LNG leaders to host Gastech 2018

Mon 30 Jul 2018 by Mike Corkhill

Six Spanish LNG leaders to host Gastech 2018
Enagás operates five of the six in-service Spanish LNG receiving terminals, including the Cartagena facility shown here

Repsol, CEPSA, Reganosa, Naturgy, Técnicas Reunidas and Enagás - the six member companies of the Spanish Gastech Consortium – are hosting this year’s event in Barcelona

Gastech is returning to Spain after a 13-year absence, the 2005 event having been held in Bilbao. The venue this year is Barcelona and the 2018 gathering, on 17-20 September, promises to be the largest in Gastech’s 45-year and 30-conference history.

The record-breaking, multi-streamed 2018 conference agenda will feature more than 200 strategic and technical presentations and 350 speakers, while bookings by delegates attending the sessions are expected to top 3,000.

The four-day timetable encompasses a plenary stage, strategic and technical conferences, a VIP global leaders’ summit and four smaller specialist programmes: the Asia LNG Market Development Forum; the LNG Trading & Procurement Forum; Diversity in Energy; and Young Gastech.

Over 700 companies have booked stands in the 50,000 m2 of exhibition hall space at the Barcelona venue. The layout will include various groupings, including six new industry zones and 15 country pavilions, while around 30,000 visitors are expected to be checking out the exhibitor displays during Gastech week.

Hosts with the most

Ensuring the success of an event the size of Gastech requires a considerable commitment and the six member companies of the Spanish Gastech Consortium hosting proceedings will play a key role in ensuring a meeting to remember. They are CEPSA, Enagás, Gas Natural Fenosa (Naturgy), Reganosa, Repsol and Técnicas Reunidas.

Each of the consortium members has made its own distinct mark in the LNG sector. An integrated energy company based in Madrid, Repsol SA believes that the global gas industry needs to continue to push technology boundaries. It is not enough for gas to be “the least bad fossil fuel”.

The gas community is already pressing ahead with initiatives aimed at reducing the environment footprint left by liquefying LNG and burning natural gas. Notable among these, points out Repsol, are efforts to reduce methane slip across the gas supply chain; convert gas to hydrogen for use in generating power and as a transport fuel; and increase biomethane production.

Although a major player in the gas sector, Repsol sold most of its LNG assets earlier in the decade to repay debts. The company has been re-engaging in the sector more recently, including through the charter of BW Lilac, the 174,000 m3 Daewoo-built LNG carrier, from BW LNG for transporting cargoes from the US to Spain, and a series of ground-breaking bunkering operations involving LNG-powered ships in Spain.

In April 2018, Repsol collaborated with the Enagás-operated Cartagena LNG receiving terminal and the Cartagena Port Authority to refuel an LNG-powered ship in Spain directly across the terminal jetty using the facility’s pipework. Flexible cryogenic hoses, rather than marine loading arms, were used to accommodate the location of the LNG manifold on the vessel being bunkered.

The 15,000-dwt bitumen tanker Damia Desgagnes was the ship fuelled. Cartagena provided the dual-fuel tanker with 370 m3 of LNG to enable the ship to complete its delivery voyage, from a Turkish shipyard to its home base on the St Lawrence Seaway, while running on LNG.

More LNG bunkering plays

Cepsa, the Iberian Peninsula’s leading bunker fuel supplier, is also an advocate of a growing commitment to LNG as marine fuel. Earlier this year the company famously added two 300 m3 LNG deck tanks to Oizmendi, one of its 11 oil bunker vessels, to create the Mediterranean’s first multipurpose LNG/oil fueling vessel.

After delivering 90 m3 of LNG to the dual-fuel cement carrier Ireland in the port of Bilbao in February 2018, Cepsa has relocated Oizmendi to the southern Spanish port of Huelva. There, the bunker barge will be able to load LNG at the Enagás-operated Huelva receiving terminal for subsequent ship-to-ship transfers of fuel to LNG-powered vessels bunkering in the area.

Cepsa is reviewing the possibility of providing LNG-capable bunker vessels in further Iberian ports. The obvious priorities are the locations already home to LNG receiving terminals. In Spain that means, in addition to Bilbao, Cartagena and Huelva, El Ferrol, Barcelona and Sagunto, while in Portugal Sines is under scrutiny.

Reganosa is an energy infrastructure company which owns and manages the Mugardos LNG receiving terminal in the northwestern Spanish port of El Ferrol. The company also assists with the operation of the Delimara regasification plant in Malta.

Navantia, one the world’s busiest LNG carrier repair yards, is also located in El Ferrol and in recent years Reganosa has added a gasing up and cooldown service to its basic regasification and cargo reload package. In this way, LNG carriers that have completed their maintenance programmes at Navantia, can stop at the Mugardos terminal before leaving the port to take on sufficient LNG to ensure that cargo tanks are cooled to the required level before arrival at the next loading port.

Reganosa is also seeking to build on its strategic location and to develop Mugardos as both an LNG bunkering facility and a hub terminal for the Galicia region. The masterplan includes constructing a third 150,000 m3 storage tank and a second jetty to accommodate a full range of LNG carriers, from the largest down to small coastal tankers and LNG bunker vessels.

Able to trace its Spanish roots back 175 years, Gas Natural Fenosa opted for a facelift in June 2018 when the company was renamed Naturgy. A leading global LNG player, with particular emphasis on the Atlantic Basin and the Mediterranean, Naturgy employs a fleet of 11 chartered LNG carriers to match its supply options with its customers’ needs.

The portfolio of supply options is growing, as purchase contracts finalised in recent years by the company are set to almost double the volume of LNG available to 12.5 mta by 2021.

Naturgy is seeking to build on this solid LNG foundation with involvements in transfer technology and bunkering. The company was involved in another Cartagena bunkering operation in May 2018, when it collaborated with Hamburg-based Nauticor to provide six road tanker loads of LNG to power the 16,300 dwt, dual-fuel, chemical/product tanker Fure Vinga on the final leg of its delivery voyage from China to Sweden.

Naturgy has also been working with Connect LNG of Norway to develop a ship-to-shore floating LNG transfer system called, variously, DirectLink and Universal Transfer System (UTS). The concept, aimed at opening up new small- to mid-scale market potential, enables ship/shore LNG transfers where jetty facilities are not required. A prototype UTS unit has been built and towed to Herøya in Norway for testing.

Transfer applications include LNG discharges to barge-mounted regasification plants; loading operations to small ships at LNG export facilities whose jetties are not geared up for such vessels; loading from floating LNG production vessels in nearshore, benign waters; and LNG bunkering direct to LNG-powered ships without the need for LNG bunker vessels.

Técnicas Reunidas (TR) has been involved with the design, engineering and construction of LNG liquefaction, regasification, storage and associated facilities since 1967. The 2010 contract to build the Zhuhai LNG receiving terminal in China for CNOOC marked the company’s breakthrough into the Asian market. TR has also been involved with fabricating four of Spain’s six operating LNG terminals: Cartagena, Huelva, Barcelona and Bilbao.

More recently, TR has been contracted by Venture Global LNG to carry out the front-end engineering and design work required for that company’s 10 mta Calcasieu Pass LNG export project, proposed for Cameron Parish in the US state of Louisiana.

The last of the six members of the Spanish Consortium hosting Gastech is Enagás, operator of five of the six operational Spanish LNG receiving terminals: the Bilbao, Huelva, Cartagena, Sagunto and Barcelona terminals.

At Gastech, Enagás will be hosting a technical visit to its Barcelona LNG receiving terminal, the oldest regasification plant in Spain and continental Europe. Commissioned in 1969, the facility currently has six tanks offering 760,000 m3 of storage capacity.

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