Belgium’s Zeebrugge LNG terminal hits new record

Belgium’s Fluxys said its Zeebrugge LNG terminal has logged a record number of ship operations last year, as the company continues to work on expanding the facility.

The LNG facility located in the port of Zeebrugge conducted 181 ship operations during 2021.

This compares to 172 operations in the year before, which also marked a record boosted by more transshipments.

Fluxys did not provide the number of transshipments and unloads in its 2021 financial results report released on Wednesday.

The company said May 2021 was the busiest month for marine traffic at the LNG import terminal, with 26 ships docking.

Last year, Fluxys took a final investment decision to almost double the regasification capacity at the LNG terminal after a successful open season.

The Zeebrugge terminal currently consists of five tanks with a storage capacity of 566,000 cbm and a regasification capacity of about 6.6 mtpa.

Truck loading on the rise

Fluxys said LNG truck loading at the Zeebrugge plant has experienced “particularly strong growth” over past three years due to the sharp increase in demand for LNG as an alternative fuel for ships and trucks.

“2021 was a record year, with the number of loading operations doubling to 6,635. This is the largest rise in seven years,” it said.

Given current volumes of traffic, the existing truck loading stations are gradually approaching their maximum capacity.

Moreover, there is “considerable market interest” in booking even more loading slots in the future.

This is why Fluxys has already decided to build four additional truck loading stations at the terminal.

60 percent of bio-LNG capacity sold

Besides expanding the facility with new regas and truck loading capacity, Fluxys also started offering bio-LNG services in December last year.

“Fluxys teams have developed a way for terminal users to convert biomethane into bio-LNG and around a hundred trucks and two bunker vessels were loaded with bio-LNG in 2021,” it said.

In consultation with the market and federal energy regulator CREG, over the course of the year Fluxys has developed a regulated service package for bio-LNG.

“The service range is attracting considerable interest, with 60 percent of the bio-LNG capacity for 2022 being sold in a first subscription window,” Fluxys said.

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