Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), an association representing the interests of European natural gas infrastructure operators, released its new small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) database.
The database provides the LNG industry and interested parties with an overview of the available, planned and announced small-scale LNG infrastructure and services in Europe, GIE said in a statement.
Small-scale LNG infrastructure is heavily dependent on the proximity of large-scale LNG import terminals.
As of end 2017, 75% of operational small-scale LNG infrastructures were in countries that have large-scale regasification terminals1, mainly in Western Europe, GIE noted.
France, Italy, Spain and the UK have been driving the growth in small-scale LNG infrastructure, increasing the number of their operational facilities by 133% over 2016-2017, it said.
This concentration in Western Europe is expected to continue: 65% of under construction or planned projects are in countries with large-scale import terminals.
This is further corroborated by the absence of development of facilities that could liquefy natural gas from networks into LNG, confirming the large-scale LNG import terminals as the key logistical springboard for small-scale LNG, GIE said.
Among the different types of infrastructure, LNG fuelling stations for trucks have witnessed the strongest growth over 2016-2017: both the number of operational stations as well as the number of under construction and planned stations have more than doubled to 167 and 71 respectively.
The number of sea and river small-scale LNG infrastructure projects has also grown, albeit to a lesser pace, moving from 31 to 50 over 2016-2017 (+62%), while the pipeline of new under construction or planned projects showed a slight decline from 37 to 31 (-16%), GIE said.
In the rail sector, 5 planned rail loading projects have been identified, in Northern Europe and Spain. None had been sanctioned as of end 2017, suggesting persistent challenges in kick-starting railroad LNG transport, GIE added.