Dutch Gate terminal hits new record as US LNG deliveries jump

Dutch Gate LNG terminal in the Rotterdam port received a record number of LNG cargoes last year on the back of high demand and a surge in US deliveries.

The LNG terminal owned by Gasunie and Vopak substantially increased its incoming volumes of LNG during the last year as the Netherlands and other European countries such as Germany work on replacing Russian pipeline gas supplies.

Gate unloaded a total of 183 LNG cargoes, mainly from large LNG carriers, while the facility loaded 84 cargoes, mainly to small vessels, Stefaan Adriaens, Gate’s commercial manager, told LNG Prime late on Wednesday.

This compares to 113 unloads and 131 reloads in 2021, meaning that Gate unloaded 70 more vessels last year.

In total, Gate handled 23 more vessels in 2022 compared to the year before.

US deliveries almost doubled

Gate received 96 LNG cargoes from terminals in the US last year, compared to 51 shipments in 2021 and 26 shipments in 2020.

On the other hand, LNG deliveries from Russia dropped from 43 shipments last year to 30 in 2022.

According to Adriaens, US deliveries accounted for 57 percent of the total volumes while Russian volumes accounted for 16 percent and were mainly delivered early in the year.

Capacity boosted

Gate has a capacity of 12 bcm or 8.8 mtpa of LNG. It also has three LNG storage tanks with a capacity of 540,000 cbm, and three truck loading bays.

Following modifications and investments, Gate managed to add 4 bcm of capacity on an interruptible basis, it said in July.

Gate also received a permit to add the fourth tank and boost regasification capacity up to 20 bcm per year.

Adriaens said that Gate’s 2022 annual utilization rate was at 120 percent last year, or 14,39 Bcm on a 12 Bcm nameplate capacity.

Shell has capacity rights at Gate, along with OMV, Glencore, and Uniper.

“Remarkable how our customers have used the terminal to the limit and coped with big volatility and changing supply patterns. Let us hope we are in slightly calmer water in 2023,” Adriaens said.

Dutch LNG imports to continue to rise

LNG supplies to the Netherlands are expected to continue to rise as state-owned Gasunie is looking to further expand the regasification capacity in the country.

Gasunie started delivering gas to the grid from the new Eemshaven LNG hub with a capacity of 8 bcm in September.

This facility features two chartered FSRUs, namely Exmar’s 26,000-cbm barge-based FSRU Eemshaven LNG and the 170,000-cbm Energos Igloo, owned by a joint venture of asset manager Apollo and US LNG firm NFE.

The firm is planning to further expand the existing LNG facilities in Eemshaven and in Rotterdam on the basis of technical optimizations as well adding a new FSRU-based facility in the port of Terneuzen.

Besides Gasunie, Rotterdam-based storage terminal owner VTTI, co-owned by Vitol, IFM, and Adnoc, is also looking to develop a new FSRU-based facility that will provide the Netherlands additional storage and import capacity for LNG.

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