Vopak to buy 50 percent of Gasunie’s Eemshaven LNG hub

Dutch storage tank firm Vopak has entered into a deal with compatriot Gasunie to buy 50 percent of the latter’s LNG hub in the Dutch port of Eemshaven.

Vopak said in a statement on Tuesday that the principle agreement remains subject to a number of conditions, including the approval from the competition authorities.

The firm expects the transaction to complete by latest October 1, 2023.

The Eemshaven terminal features two chartered FSRUs, including the 26,000-cbm barge-based FSRU Eemshaven LNG and the 170,000-cbm Energos Igloo.

Moreover, it has a capacity of 8 billion cubic meters per year and supplies natural gas to capacity holders Shell, Czech utility CEZ, and France’s Engie.

Gasunie previously said that the ambition of its unit EemsEnergyTerminal is to be able to handle 9 bcm of natural gas before the end of this year, and then to grow to 10 bcm.

“This agreement highlights the commitment of Gasunie and Vopak to jointly develop and operate open access LNG infrastructure in the Netherlands and contribute to the energy security of Europe,” Vopak said.

The partners are planning the further development of the Eemshaven site to facilitate the import of green hydrogen, it said.

Gate LNG

Vopak and Gasunie are already partners in the Dutch Gate LNG terminal.

Launched in September 2011, the terminal has a nameplate capacity of 12 Bcm or 8.8 mtpa of LNG, three LNG storage tanks with a capacity of 540,000 cbm, and three truck loading bays.

Following modifications, Gate managed to add 4 bcm of capacity on an interruptible basis, available to users already having a position in Gate.

Vopak confirmed in the statement on Monday, providing an update on its LNG porfolio, that the partners are planning to take a final investment decision to build the fourth storage tank at their Gate LNG terminal in the port of Rotterdam by September 1 this year.

LNG Prime reported on this development on March 9.

Once all planned projects at Gate terminal have been completed, the terminal will have a regas capacity of 20 bcm per year.

According to Vopak, its equity investments in EemsEnergyTerminal and Gate terminal are expected to be around 100 million euros ($109 million) and will result in “attractive” operating cash return.

Hong Kong FSRU

Vopak also said that it has decided to no longer pursue the acquisition of 49.99 percent of the vessel owning company of MOL that owns the world’s largest FSRU.

Japan’s MOL and Vopak signed a deal in 2021 to jointly own the 263,000-cbm MOL FSRU Challenger which will serve the new offshore LNG terminal in Hong Kong.

The giant FSRU is expected to arrive in Hong Kong this week.

Vopak has been working with MOL for developing and commissioning the Hong Kong FSRU LNG terminal, and Vopak has “contributed much to the establishment of a reliable system for the operation and maintenance of the terminal,” it said.

“Although the commercial start is expected later this year, the delay of the project has resulted in reduced attractiveness and made Vopak decide not to make use of the share right,” the firm said.

Also, Vopak added it will remain involved in the commissioning of the terminal and will continue to provide support to the operation of the terminal as required.

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