Shell’s decision to invest in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuel infrastructure and a new berth at the Gas Access to Europe (GATE) terminal near the Port of Rotterdam back in July 2014 has led to the first loading this week of Shell’s chartered LNG vessel, the Coral Methane. The new terminal will provide security of supply of LNG for marine and road transport customers in northwest Europe.
Lauran Wetemans, Shell’s General Manager Downstream LNG, said: “The first LNG loading of the Coral Methane at Gate’s new berth is great news for our customers. We are ready to supply Shell LNG Fuel to marine customers in northwest Europe, providing fuel options to meet the current and future needs of our marine customers.”
The Coral Methane was loaded to distribute LNG to Shell’s customer AGA AS, a leading gas company in Northern Europe. A multipurpose 7,500m³ capacity LNG carrier developed for Netherlands-based gas transportation company Anthony Veder, the vessel entered service in May 2009 under a 15-year charter with Shell’s Norwegian energy company Gasnor AS.
LNG arrives at Gate terminal via large chartered carriers from around the world. The new infrastructure receives gas in its liquid form from the storage tanks at the terminal by pipeline, and will load smaller quantities in ships for distribution.
Since October 2015, Shell has access to import and storage capacity at the Gas Access to Europe (Gate) LNG terminal in the Netherlands, allowing the company to supply LNG to marine and road transport customers in northwest Europe.
To serve marine customers in the port of Rotterdam, Shell has contracted a specialised LNG bunker vessel to deliver to LNG-fuelled vessels in northwest Europe. The steel cutting ceremony of the LNG bunker vessel took place in Korea in December 2015. It will be based at the port of Rotterdam and will load from the Gate berth, delivering to LNG-fuelled vessels in northwest Europe. The vessel is also sea-going and, therefore, able to bunker customers at other locations.
The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and a key location for bunkering operations, giving the Gate terminal an advantaged position to serve customers in the marine and road sector.
Shell sees demand for LNG as a fuel in the shipping industry increasing, driven by emissions reduction requirements. The view is supported by Rolf Brouwer, Managing Director of Gate terminal: “Gate terminal and its shareholders Gasunie and Vopak are excited to be sharing this milestone with Shell. Demand for LNG as a fuel in the shipping industry is increasing, and Gate terminal is playing a leading role in providing the infrastructure and operations to load LNG on behalf of Shell on board of vessels for further distribution.”
In December last year, Shell signed a time-charter agreement with Plouvier Transport NV and Intertrans Tankschiffahrt AG for 15 new inland dual-fuel barges, which will predominantly run on LNG. A staggered delivery of the barges is expected to take place between late-2016 and mid-2018.
Shell also has a growing Shell network of LNG truck refuelling stations in the Netherlands, opening its 5th station in Eindhoven in July.