November 02, 2022 [Diesel International] – As detailed in a previous IEEFA report, gas pipeline operator Fluxys Belgium invested €91.3 million in infrastructure projects.
As detailed in a previous IEEFA report, gas pipeline operator Fluxys Belgium invested €91.3 million in infrastructure projects in 2019. Almost 80% was spent on LNG infrastructure projects, mainly on the construction of a fifth LNG storage tank at the Zeebrugge LNG terminal serving the 20-year transshipment contract with Yamal LNG, whose shareholders are Novatek (Russia), TotalEnergies (France), China National Petroleum Corporation, and the Silk Road Fund (China).
LNG transported by icebreaker LNG carriers from the production terminal in Sabetta in Yamal is transhipped to conventional LNG carriers at Zeebrugge to be sent to other markets.
Yamal LNG uses this route via Zeebrugge mainly during the winter months when icy waters make it difficult for LNG tankers to reach Asian customers located to the east of Russia. The majority of transhipped cargoes are sent to Asia and few to Turkey, Spain and Italy.
During the summer months, the 180,000 cbm LNG storage tank utilisation rate is low or none. There were no transhipment operations in Zeebrugge in July 2022, and few transhipment operations taking place in August and September 2022.
The storage space of the fifth tank is reserved by Yamal LNG for a 20-year period and is therefore not currently being utilised for security of supply purposes. Furthermore, information concerning the utilisation ratio of the fifth tank is not publicly available.
It is very possible that even though the storage tank is reserved, it is not being utilised at all and is sitting idle for large periods of time.
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