The Belgian gas transmission company Fluxys, which engages in natural gas transportation and storage, has entered into a Framework Agreement with Gazprom on small-scale LNG cooperation in the European market. The Agreement reflects the intention of the parties to collaborate on joint projects for the construction and operation of LNG receiving terminals, LNG filling stations and LNG bunkering infrastructure in Europe.
The agreement was signed by Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Pascal De Buck, Fluxys Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, in Paris this week.
“Small-scale LNG is not just a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to traditional fuel for different fields of economy including industry and transport. It is one of the key growth areas in European gas consumption. By developing this segment, Gazprom will further diversify its export potential and increase its supply of sustainable energy to Europe,” Alexander Medvedev said.
Pascal De Buck spoke to the benefits of natural gas fuel. “Developing the required small-scale LNG infrastructure is key to put the EU sustainable alternative fuels strategy into practice. It will enable small-scale LNG to further unlock its vast potential to mitigate the environmental and health impact of shipping, long-haulage transport by truck and remote industrial sites not connected into a pipe gas network,” he said.
According to the Fluxys website, five LNG-powered inland navigation vessels are currently supplied via tanker trucks that take on LNG at the LNG terminal in Zeebrugge (truck-to-ship bunkering). It is expected that tanker trucks from Zeebrugge will, in the near future, bunker a total of 13 inland navigation vessels.
A second jetty is under construction at the LNG terminal in Zeebrugge. It has been specially designed to also accommodate LNG bunker vessels, i.e. small LNG ships that load LNG and supply it to LNG-powered ships (ship-to-ship bunkering) or deliver it to small LNG bunker terminals in other ports. The underwater section of the second jetty was built by the Zeebrugge Port Authority, while Fluxys is handling the superstructure. The second jetty is co-funded by the EU and will be commissioned in 2016.
An LNG bunkering & filling facility is also planned for the Port of Antwerp.