Spanish LNG terminal operator Enagas is moving forward with plans to launch its El Musel LNG facility in Asturias with the capacity to unload and load 100 liquefied natural gas carriers per year.
This facility has been in hibernation since its completion in 2013.
Enagas said in a statement issued last week that the terminal has received the administrative authorization from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.
This authorization follows a favorable report from the National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC), and is a “key step” for the start-up of the LNG terminal after the ministry approved the environmental impact statement for this infrastructure in May 2021, it said.
“For its definitive start-up, the process continues with the processing of the recognition of the economic regime by the CNMC ─a special regime so that it can be used as a plant for LNG logistics services─, with the start-up order by the ministry and with the technical set-up of the terminal by Enagas,” the firm said.
Following the completion of this process, the plant could go online for logistics use “within six to eight months”, Enagas CEO Arturo Gonzalo said in the statement.
Also, he said that the Gijon terminal can unload and load more than 100 LNG carriers, which represents a contribution of up to 8 billion cubic meters.
European energy security
According to Enagas, the logistical use of the El Musel plant would contribute to the security of supply in Europe. This is particularly relevant in the current European context of reducing dependence on Russian gas, as envisaged in the European document REPowerEU, it said.
The El Musel terminal allows for the unloading of LNG carriers from various producer countries and the fast loading of ships to different European destinations, it said.
Moreover, the plant has a storage capacity of 300,000 cbm of LNG, divided into two tanks of 150,000 cbm each.
It also has berthing and unloading facilities designed for the largest LNG carriers with a capacity of up to 266,000 cbm.
Enagas operates a large network of gas pipelines and has four LNG import plants in Barcelona, Huelva, Cartagena and Gijon. It also owns 50 percent of the BBG regasification plant in Bilbao and 72.5 percent of the Sagunto plant.