Spain’s Enagas reports jump in LNG bunkering volumes

Spanish LNG terminal operator Enagas reported a jump in its LNG bunkering volumes due to the start of operations of new bunkering ships and the growth of the global fleet of LNG-powered vessels.

Enagas operates a large network of gas pipelines in Spain and has three wholly-owned LNG import plants in Barcelona, Huelva, and Cartagena.

It also owns 75 percent in the Musel LNG facility, 50 percent in the BBG regasification plant in Bilbao, and 72.5 percent of the Sagunto plant, while Reganosa operates the Mugardos plant.

According to a statement issued by Enagas on Tuesday, the volume of LNG loaded as fuel by Enagas-operated plants in 2023 reach 1,359 GWh, a rise of more than four times compared to 300 GWh in 2021.

Enagas attributed this progress to the success of public-private partnership in projects such as CORE LNGas hive and LNGhive2, co-funded by the European Commission.

These initiatives, led by Puertos del Estado and coordinated by Enagas, have developed an integrated logistics chain for the supply of LNG as fuel on the Iberian Peninsula.

Scale Gas

Enagas said it has implemented comprehensive solutions by adapting its terminals and building supply barges through its subsidiary Scale Gas, positioning itself as the European operator with the largest aggregate loading capacity.

The small-scale LNG unit of Enagas was founded in 2017, and currently has two LNG bunkering vessels in its fleet and one on order in China.

China’s Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering is building the third vessel with a capacity of 12,500 cbm for Scale Gas and the ship will operate mainly in the Canary Islands from 2026.

In November last year, marine fuel supplier Peninsula started delivering LNG as fuel to vessels in Gibraltar with the 12,500-cbm Levante LNG.

South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo built this vessel for Scale Gas and Peninsula for about $60 million.

In addition, Knutsen, Enagas, and Shell last year officially launched the 5,000-cbm LNG bunkering ship, Haugesund Knutsen, in the Spanish port of Barcelona.

Spain’s Armon Gijon built this LNG bunkering vessel for Knutsen and Scale Gas and this ship serves a charter with Shell.

The port of Barcelona reported a new record in its yearly LNG bunkering volumes in 2023 due to lower prices and the start of operations of Haugesund Knutsen.

Besides this, the global LNG fleet of LNG-powered vessels continues to expand.

DNV ‘s latest data shows there are now 535 LNG-powered ships in operation and 509 LNG-fueled vessels on order, excluding smaller inland vessels or dual-fuel LNG carriers.

During 2023, the port of Barcelona hosted a total of 199 LNG bunkering operations to ships, for a total of 143,000 cbm.

Besides these ship-to-ship (STS) operations, the Enagas-operated Barcelona LNG terminal can carry out direct bunkering operations, or pipe-to-ship (PTS).

Huelva bunkering volumes surge

With the start of operations of the Levante LNG vessel, the volume loaded in the first four months of 2024 at the Enagas plant in Huelva has increased by 82 percent compared to the total supply in 2023, Enagas said.

This terminal loads LNG onto STS supply barges and will soon carry out PTS operations, the firm said.

The Enagas terminal in Cartagena, which already offers PTS services, will soon also be able to offer the possibility of carrying out STS operations, it said.

In addition to these three wholly-owned regasification terminals, the company’s majority-owned terminals in Spain also provide bunkering services: El Musel in Gijon, Saggas in Sagunto, and BBG in Bilbao offer truck-to-ship (TTS) services, and the latter also PTS, Enagas said.

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