Zeebrugge LNG facility sees fewer imports and re-exports but LNG truck service grows

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Six of these carrier arrivals from January until the end of September were Q-Flex-type carriers from Qatar with about 210,000 cubic metres of capacity, Fluxys said in its latest earnings report.

Last year's trend of re-loading cargoes and trading them into the higher-priced Asian and South American markets also continued, but fewer cargoes were involved.

In the first nine months, 15 carriers were re-loaded compared with 18 in the same period in 2012, Fluxys said.

Fluxys stated that the main success at Zeebrugge was the growing LNG truck-loading business.

From October 20 until November 7, company subsidiary Fluxys LNG organised a subscription window in the context of its offer of LNG truck-loading services.

"With 24/7 service availability and the possibility to make reservations quickly and easily through an online booking system, the new service offers customers greater flexibility," Fluxys said.

"It was welcomed as such a resounding success that Fluxys LNG introduced it earlier than planned, on November 1," the company said.

Meanwhile, the Fluxys LNG unit is building a second jetty for loading and unloading LNG carriers at Zeebrugge. The jetty will be commissioned in 2015.

The terminal also saw its Open Rack Vaporizer commissioned. The installation uses ambient temperature from seawater to regasify LNG into natural gas.

Nine-month revenue predominantly from transmission, storage and LNG terminalling amounted to 458.8 million euros ($617M), compared with 445.5M for the same period in 2012.

The increase in revenue results from invoicing of gas purchases required for maintaining balance in the transmission network.

Fluxys Belgium transmitted a total of 332 Terawatt/hours (TWh) of natural gas through its pipeline network, compared with 301 TWh in the same period in 2012. (Some 1 billion cubic metres of natural gas is equivalent to 11 TWh).

Belgian transmission to the distribution system operators' grids rose by 11 percent in the first nine months, mainly as a result of the protracted spell of cold weather in early 2013.

Transmission to power stations and to industrial customers directly connected to the Fluxys grid fell by 7 percent and 5 percent respectively.

As regards natural gas transmission to neighbouring countries, volumes transmitted through Belgium were up by 16 percent on the same period last year.

"This was because similar weather conditions in neighbouring countries in early 2013 generated exceptionally high demand for natural gas.

"In addition, unusually high volumes were transmitted to the UK in March and demand for capacity in Germany peaked in late May and early June," Fluxys said.