France’s Dunkirk LNG import terminal, the country’s fourth regasification facility, is set to receive a record number of cargoes in July ahead of a planned 45-day maintenance shutdown.
The Dunkirk LNG terminal took in total four cargoes this month and is expecting another shipment from Novatek’s Yamal LNG project in the Russian Arctic on July 28, a spokesman from Dunkerque LNG, the terminal operator, told LNG World News on Monday.
This would be a record number of cargoes calling at the terminal during one single month.
The LNG facility located in the port of Dunkirk started receiving ice-class carriers from Yamal in January this year, acting as a transshipment hub for these volumes.
Previously, these ice-class tankers only carried the fuel from the Yamal LNG plant to European terminals from where the chilled gas is being transshipped or reloaded onto conventional tankers for delivery to other markets. However, as the Arctic Summer began and the ice is not too thick anymore, the ice-class tankers are now able to deliver Yamal LNG cargoes to Asian-Pacific markets via the Northern Sea Route.
The Pskov LNG carrier that is expected to deliver a Yamal cargo to Dunkirk this week is owned by Sovcomflot and chartered by Gazprom. It is also an ice-class carrier but it is not a part of the fifteen ice-class carriers fleet that will be servicing the $27 billion Yamal LNG project.
Now, as previously reported, Dunkerque LNG expects to double the number of ships calling at the facility this year due to the volumes from Russia’s Yamal project.
The terminal received in total thirteen cargoes this year as compared to ten for the whole year in 2017, the Dunkerque LNG spokesman said.
Four of this year’s shipments were received from Russia.
Most of these shipments, or nine cargoes, in the period from January 2017 up to date were sourced from Qatar under a deal France’s EDF has with Qatargas.
The terminal received also seven cargoes from Norway, as well as one from Egypt, Peru and the US, each.
The Dunkirk LNG facility will be closed from the beginning of August and during the first half of September for a planned maintenance shutdown, according to the Dunkerque LNG spokesman.
During the shutdown, Dunkerque LNG would be working on projects regarding the previously announced improvements of the terminal’s reloading capacity and adding an LNG truck loading station, he said.
To remind, Belgium’s Fluxys with consortium partners announced earlier this month it had agreed to jointly acquire from France’s EDF and Total a 35.7 percent stake in Dunkerque LNG.
Upon completion of the transaction, Fluxys and its consortium partners will have a 60.7 percent stake in the facility while a consortium of Korean investors led by IMP Group will own the rest.
With an annual regasification capacity of 13 billion cubic meters of natural gas, the terminal can meet 20 percent of France and Belgium’s gas demand.
About 75 percent of the terminal’s capacity is contracted with EDF and Total under 20-year contracts until 2036. The remaining 25 percent of terminal capacity is available for marketing.
(This article has been corrected to say that the maintenance shutdown would last 45 days instead of 90 days.)
By Mirza Duran