The number of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers calling at the Gate terminal in the port of Rotterdam has almost doubled this year as the first such Dutch facility is enjoying its best year since startup in 2011.
Gate welcomed 98 LNG carriers at the terminal’s three jetties this year up to date, as compared to 50 vessels for the whole 2017, Stefaan Adriaens, Commercial Manager at Gate told LNG World News on Wednesday.
Out of these 98 vessel calls, 50 of them were large unloads of which 17 were transshipments. This compares to 18 large unloads out of which 6 were transshipments in 2017.
As previously reported, most of this year’s transshipped volumes at Gate originated from the Novatek-operated Yamal LNG export project in the Russian Arctic.
Adriaens said that these Yamal LNG transshipments stopped in September and that none have been conducted at the facility since.
From the second half of September, Gate, that has an annual regasification capacity of 12 Bcm, started to boost its send-out to the Dutch grid with the LNG terminal reaching a record monthly quantity of 698.927.966 Nm3 of regasified LNG in November.
Gate’s total send-out up to date this year spiked to 2,111,100,952 nm3 compared to 732,531,033 nm3 the facility had regasified during the whole 2017, Adriaens said.
“Around half of September, Gate went all of a sudden from a transshipment mode to a regas mode. Apparently, China was already sufficiently supplied and the liquid North West European market provides an outlet for the excess LNG at the expense of the use of storages,” Adriaens said.
Gate is currently testing the market interest to increase the send-out capacity by up to 2 billion cubic meters per annum by installing additional equipment.
According to Adriaens, Gate with its shareholders Gasunie and Vopak expect to make a decision on this development in the first half of 2019.
Small-scale momentum continues to pick up
Adriaens told LNG World News earlier this year that Gate could build another jetty to cater for upcoming demand.
This would be the second small-scale dedicated jetty, aimed at catering for the growing interest in small-scale services.
“We are still far from a final investment decision (FID) as the first step would be to apply for a permit… We may produce the permit in 2019 and we will also conduct a market test to see if there is enough interest to build a 4th jetty,” he said.
Gate conducted 25 small-scale LNG vessel loads this year and it loaded 2,552 trucks boosted by higher LNG supply and bunkering activity. This compares to 22 small loads and 1,629 trucks loaded in 2017.
“On the small-scale side, be it delivery by truck or small LNG carrier, we see a steady growth in all markets: as a fuel for trucks, as a fuel for ships or in industrial applications,” Adriaens said.
By Mirza Duran