France’s Dunkirk liquefied natural gas import terminal accommodated a total of 37 LNG carriers during the first five months of the year.
Dunkerque LNG, the operator of the facility said that these are the record high numbers for the facility that was commissioned on January 1, 2017.
“This intense level of activity is due to a complex combination of factors linked to the supply of and demand for LNG on global markets as well as the appeal of the Dunkirk LNG terminal in the market of north-west Europe,” Pierre Dumont, sales manager at Dunkerque LNG, said.
Year-to-date, 40 liquefied natural gas tankers have docked at the facility, the statement reads. This figure should be compared with the 17 unloading and reloading operations of 2018.
“The huge influx of LNG at our terminal is attributable, in part, to the supply of and demand for LNG on the global market,” Dumont said.
Supply is higher than expected due, in particular, to the production of LNG that was early and greater than initially foreseen at the Yamal LNG plant: an overproduction that the Russians chose to channel primarily and for now towards European markets.
At the same time, the United States successfully started up new production capacity and European imports from historical suppliers of LNG (Qatar, Nigeria, Norway and Algeria) also increased, Dunkerque LNG said.
“However, the increase in supply occurs at a time when demand in Europe is stable and demand from Asia is rising more slowly than expected, particularly in China,” Dumont notes.
He added that LNG producers have been forced to find the best possible outlets or supply their LNG volumes while taking into account the new market conditions.