20 June, 2012

Swedegas and Vopak investigate open access LNG terminal in Gothenburg

A terminal for liquefied natural gas, LNG, could be completed in Gothenburg, the leading port in the Nordic region, as early as 2015.
This is the aim behind today's signing of a letter of intent, outlining plans by Gothenburg-based Swedegas and the Dutch company Vopak LNG to enter into a joint venture and invest in the terminal.
The terminal will supply LNG to both shipping and industry and will be open to all parties seeking to be involved in supplying gas to the Swedish market. There will be major environmental benefits when shipping and industry switch from heavy oil to gas.

The infrastructure company Swedegas, which owns the gas grid in south-west Sweden, and the Dutch company Vopak LNG, a specialist in the storage of liquefied natural gas and a subsidiary of the world-leading energy product storage concern Royal Vopak, have today announced that they are prepared to commence a preliminary study regarding an LNG terminal. The Port of Gothenburg is also supporting the initiative.

Lars Gustafsson, President of Swedegas AB is convinced of the benefits: "LNG is extremely interesting for shipping as a more eco-friendly fuel. Even in industry, where there is a desire for environmental reasons to switch from oil and coal to natural gas, there is a strong demand for LNG. For the first time ever in Sweden, there is now the opportunity for LNG to become part of a more extensive infrastructure by linking the terminal to our gas grid. The same infrastructure will also work for liquefied biogas."

First open access terminal                                                                                                                                                                  An open access LNG terminal is a success factor for an efficient gas market. All parties that are interested in supplying LNG to the Swedish market will have the opportunity to purchase capacity at the terminal. Ownership and administration of energy infrastructures will be kept separate from the production and sale of energy, a principle that complies with rules and directives from the European Union. This makes the terminal in Gothenburg unique among existing and planned LNG terminals in Sweden.

Dirk van Slooten, Global Director of Vopak LNG says: "Our mutual objective is that Sweden will have a safe, efficient LNG terminal that is open to all customers and is fully compliant with the needs of the market."

Major environmental benefits
LNG is a gas that is cooled down to liquid form and is thus compressed 600 times. This allows it to be transported by sea, rail and road and it can reach parts of the country that at present have no gas infrastructure. An LNG terminal in Gothenburg would thus be of major strategic value, not only for the west coast but also for industry in other parts of the country. A good example is Bergslagen, where Swedish base industry is in the process of replacing oil in order to meet its climate objectives.

In 2015, stricter emission rules for shipping will be introduced in northern Europe. By using LNG as maritime fuel, emissions of sulphur and particles, which are the greatest problem in shipping, will disappear. Nitric oxide and carbon dioxide emissions will also be reduced substantially.

Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg Chief Executive, is optimistic: "We welcome this initiative. Vopak LNG and Swedegas offer a strong alliance of international experience and local knowledge of the Swedish market. We have worked for a long time to be able to offer LNG at the port."

The Port of Gothenburg will be among the first major ports in the world where vessels will be able to refuel or bunker with LNG without having to enter a special terminal. As is the case today, bunkering will take place from a bunker vessel.

The planned terminal capacity is 20,000 cubic metres with the potential to expand in line with growth in the market. Initially, the throughflow will be around 0.5 billion cubic metres per year. Natural gas will be brought to the terminal by sea using special LNG vessels. The terminal will be open to all companies that are interested in supplying the Swedish gas market. The preliminary study will be completed by the end of the year.

Gothenburg, June 20, 2012

For further information, please contact

Saila Horttanainen, Corporate Communications Manager, Swedegas AB, +46 70 622 76 06, saila.horttanianen@swedegas.se

 

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