Dutch Gasunie charters FSRU from NFE for Eemshaven project

Dutch gas grid operator Gasunie has secured another floating storage and regasification unit for its planned terminal in Eemshaven, as the Netherlands looks to slash reliance on Russian gas.

This time, the firm signed a five-year charter deal with US LNG player New Fortress Energy.

According to Gasunie, the two firms signed the binding deal on Monday. This FSRU would arrive in Eemshaven in August this year, such as the first unit.

Gasunie did not reveal the name of the second FSRU.

In March, Gasunie signed a contract with Belgium’s Exmar to charter the 26,000-cbm FSRU S188 for a period of five year for the second Dutch LNG import terminal.

Gasunie previously said it plans to start using this FSRU as a floating LNG import terminal at the Eemshaven port, operated by Groningen Seaports, later this year.

Once the floating facilities from Exmar and NFE are moored in Eemshaven, they will be connected to the existing gas network in Eemshaven.

With these two FSRUs, the Eemshaven facility would have a capacity of 8 bcm per year. Both of the units should start operations this autumn, according to Gasunie.

Including the Gate LNG import terminal, operated by Gasunie and Vopak, the Dutch capacity will substantially increase this year.

Launched in September 2011, the Gate terminal currently has an annual throughput capacity of 12 bcm of gas per year, but it will boost it to 13.5 bcm from 2024 as part of a deal with Germany’s Uniper. The partners plans to add more capacity as well.

With the Gate expansion and the Eemshaven project, Dutch capacity would double from current 12 bcm to 24 bcm, Gasunie said.

High demand for capacity booking

Gasunie recently started the tendering procedure for market parties interested in transporting LNG from Eemshaven into the European hinterland.

The company would operate the facility under the name “EemsEnergyTerminal”.

According to Gasunie the tender has led to “overwhelming interest”.

“More than 15 parties have so far registered their interest in using the terminal to deliver LNG cargoes, and demand is four times higher than supply,” Gasunie said.

These parties now have until 10 June to convert their interest into a binding LNG supply contract, it said.

NFE FLNG plans and FSRUs

Wes Edens-led New Fortress Energy recently revealed plans to install up to eight floating liquefaction facilities in the US Gulf of Mexico and offered its FSRUs, as Europe seeks more US LNG supplies.

Combined, the floating liquefaction units would have a capacity of 11.2 mtpa.

Besides Gasunie, European players such as Uniper, RWE, and others have recently signed deals to charter FSRUs as the fastest solution to start importing LNG.

NFE owns seven FSRUs with two conversion candidates. The firm said in its recent first-quarter report it had two FSRUs available for deployment in 2022.

The two available units include the 170,000-cbm Golar Igloo with a capacity of 5.4 mtpa and the 126,000-cbm Golar Freeze with a capacity of 2 mtpa.

Looking at the capacity, Gasunie has probably chartered NFE’s Golar Igloo.

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