September 09, 2019 [Hydrocarbon Engineering] – Qatar Petroleum subsidiary Qatar Terminal Limited (QTL) and Fluxys Belgium subsidiary Fluxys LNG have signed a long-term LNG services agreement for the Zeebrugge LNG terminal. Under the agreement, QTL subscribes unloading slots at the facility from the expiry of the current long-term unloading contracts and up to 2044.
The agreement was signed during a ceremony held in Brussels today by Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, and Pascal De Buck, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Fluxys Belgium, in the presence of Marie-Christine Marghem, the Belgian Federal Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development.
Commenting on this occasion, Al-Kaabi said: “We are delighted to sign this landmark agreement today to extend and expand our existing long-term partnership with Fluxys for decades to come. We believe this will further support our customers in Belgium and Europe in general, by providing them access to reliable LNG supplies from Qatar and allowing them to maximise the utilisation of such supplies.”
Minister Al-Kaabi concluded his remarks by saying: “Qatar Petroleum has long invested in and anchored LNG receiving terminal capacity in Europe, a key LNG market, as part of our supply destination portfolio diversification strategy. We continue to be committed to supporting the EU’s energy policies and to providing reliable energy supplies into Europe. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the concerned Belgian authorities for their support and Fluxys for its valuable partnership.”
On his part, De Buck said: “Today is a milestone for Fluxys Belgium. This agreement further extends our long-standing cooperation with Qatari partners, secures long-term activity at the Zeebrugge terminal and further strengthens the facility’s position as a versatile LNG gateway into Europe offering customers optimum destination flexibility. Ample pipe gas take away capacity from the terminal is readily available for delivery throughout North-West Europe as well as a range of options for downstream small-scale LNG distribution.”
Marie-Christine Marghem said: “I am glad that our two countries have been able to develop a close and successful cooperation in this matter. Qatar is a gas producing country assuring long-term security of supply of LNG deliveries into Belgium and North West Europe. Approximately 15% of our gas consumption comes from Qatar. This also demonstrates the solidity of our partnership. I will ensure that we will continue to enhance our mutual confidence and relationship for the successful cooperation between our two countries.”
The long-term LNG Services Agreement signed today is the outcome of a subscription window held from 30 April to 24 May 2019 for services at the Zeebrugge LNG terminal upon expiry, as from 2023, of the current long-term unloading contracts.
During the subscription window, the market was offered unloading slots and additional storage services at the facility over subsequent periods up to 2044. In late June, the Belgian Federal Commission for Electricity and Gas Regulation (CREG) approved the accompanying tariff and LNG services agreement proposals, clearing the way for turning the binding interest obtained through the subscription window into a long-term LNG services agreement.
The Zeebrugge LNG Terminal in Belgium was commissioned in 1987. It has since developed, together with the Zeebrugge area as a whole, into a central crossroads for North-West Europe’s gas network. Located at the point where a number of gas pipelines meet, the terminal plays a key role in Europe’s natural gas supplies. The terminal currently has 380 000 m3 of LNG storage capacity spread over four tanks and an annual throughput capacity of 9 billion m3 of natural gas. A fifth 180 000 m3 storage tank is currently under construction.
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