Netherlands through its state-owned energy company Gasunie is moving quickly to develop its LNG import capabilities signing an agreement with New Fortress Energy for the charter of an FSRU unit. It is a second and larger unit that will be used in tandem to develop the new LNG terminal at Eemshaven in the Netherlands. The charters are part of an effort to meet the country’s gas needs and follows a similar action by Germany which last week announced it would also charter for FSRUs.
The agreement with New Fortress Energy is for one FSRU for five years and it is due to arrive at Eemshaven during the third quarter of 2022. The chartered FSRU will provide a storage capacity of approximately 170,000 m3 of liquefied natural gas with a peak regasification capacity of 900 mmscfd.
“This decisive cooperation with NFE enables us to increase the security of supply of natural gas in the Netherlands from Eemshaven (Northern Netherlands) as early as this autumn,” said Ulco Vermeulen, member of the Executive Board of Gasunie. “This new terminal capacity will increase energy security for the Netherlands and North-West Europe and create additional LNG import capacity to reduce dependence on Russian gas.”
In mid-March this year, the Netherlands’ Energy and Climate Minister Jetten announced that the Dutch cabinet was investigating with Gasunie how the import capacity for LNG in the Netherlands could be increased in the short term. Gasunie launched a plan to develop an LNG terminal operation at Eemshaven, a port that is also being used to support the development of offshore wind farms.
In addition to the unit from New Fortress Energy, Gasunie also contracted the FSRU S188 from the Belgian shipping company Exmar. That unit was due to depart Singapore in May and arrive in Eemshaven in August. With the second unit from New Fortress, Gasunie is expanding its new LNG terminal allowing for a total of 8 billion cubic meters of LNG to be converted into natural gas.
Preparation is beginning in Eemshaven to support the LNG operation with structures being built where the vessels will dock. Eemshaven was selected for the LNG terminal because of the existing gas network. It will be possible to link the FSRUs to the national gas pipeline network for broad distribution of the LNG. The company also plans to make modifications at the existing terminal on the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam to enable more LNG to be realized. Combined the two terminals will double the LNG capacity in the Netherlands.
Gasunie reports a strong response for the new LNG terminal with 15 companies having so far registered interest in using the terminal to deliver LNG. They said that demand is four times higher than the anticipated supply. In the next month, the company will enter into LNG contracts in advance of the operations beginning at Eemshaven. They anticipate the terminal will be fully operational during the third quarter of 2022.
Last week, the German federal government announced a similar initiative to launch the country’s first liquefied natural gas import terminals. They have signed agreements with energy giants RWE and Uniper for a total of four FSRUs that they anticipate will be in service for the winter of 2022-2023. Uniper will provide under charter two FSRU units managed by Dynagas, with the first one to be located in Wilhelmshaven. RWE will be getting two units from Höegh LNG under a 10-year agreement.