Gasunie, Vopak gauging market interest for Eemshaven LNG imports beyond 2027

Dutch partners Gasunie and Vopak are gauging market interest in LNG imports beyond 2027 via their FSRU-based LNG import facility in the port of Eemshaven.

The Eeemshaven LNG hub consists of two chartered floating storage and regasification units – the 170,000-cbm FSRU Energos Igloo, owned by Energos Infrastucture, and the 26,000-cbm barge-based FSRU Eemshaven LNG, owned by Exmar.

The terminal has a capacity of 8 billion cubic meters and supplies natural gas to capacity holders UK-based Shell, Czech utility CEZ, and France’s Engie.

Shell booked 4 bcm per year of the capacity, CEZ reserved 3 bcm per year, and Engie booked the rest.

Currently, the LNG import contracts will end in the second half of 2027.

The facility recently received received its 100th shipment since its launch in September 2022 and it is currently able to handle about 9 bcm per year due to due to ‘technical optimization’ of the existing installations, including debottlenecking.

According to a statement by Gasunie issued on Monday, the company and its partner Vopak, in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, are exploring options to keep operating the EemsEnergyTerminal for longer than initially planned.

Gasunie and Vopak started market consultations on possibilities for LNG, hydrogen, and CO2 infrastructure at the LNG terminal.

“This survey will not only look at LNG but is also intended to explore ways to bring about a future, rapid transition to a sustainable energy system; one where hydrogen and carbon capture and storage play key roles,” Gasunie said.

Security of supply

The Eemshaven facility is the first FSRU-based terminal in the Netherlands and the second LNG import terminal in the country after Gate.

The Gate LNG import terminal in the port of Rotterdam, also operated by Gasunie and Vopak, and the Eemshaven hub mostly receive LNG cargoes from the US.

Following the loss of Russian gas and the end of gas extraction from the Groningen gas field, security of energy supply for the Netherlands and its neighbouring countries has changed “drastically”, Gasunie said.

Currently, roughly 75 percent of Netherlands gas needs are met by imports, according to Gasunie.

As LNG imports are expected to continue to be needed over the coming years, the LNG terminal is “set to play a key role in the transition to renewable energy,” it said.

Gasunie and Vopak are “keen to affirm their joint ambition to harness this LNG infrastructure to contribute to security of energy supply in Europe.”

According to Gasunie, the consultation is intended to gauge market interest in importing LNG through the the terminal beyond 2027, as well as to get an idea of the conditions market parties would set.

It will also look at permit regulations and the required technical aspects.

“The results of the consultation may lead to an ‘open season’ where the required capacity is offered to the market in a transparent manner,” Gasunie said.

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