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August 29, 2016

Gate terminal launches third berth for small vessels

Gate terminal and its shareholders Gasunie and Vopak announced today that the LNG terminal at the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam has been expanded to include a third berth and special infrastructure for the loading of small LNG vessels. These small LNG vessels will enable distribution to LNG terminals in other North Sea and Baltic ports where large LNG tankers are prohibited to deliver directly due to their draught.

In conjunction with LNG bunker vessels, the new berth will in future also make it easier for ocean-going vessels to fill up with LNG in Rotterdam. As with other kinds of maritime fuel LNG can be pumped on board large ocean-going vessels using bunker vessels. These can now be loaded at Gate terminal which receives LNG from large LNG tankers arriving from several global origins. The use of LNG as a maritime fuel is being encouraged by the European Union, the Dutch government and the Port of Rotterdam because of its more environmentally-friendly properties.

The third berth is intended especially for small vessels. Gate terminal has two jetties where mainly large LNG tankers berth to unload their LNG cargo into the three 180,000 cbm storage tanks. The cold LNG (minus 160 ºC) is pumped from these storage tanks along insulated pipelines to the new berth and, with the aid of two or three special loading arms, is loaded into the small seagoing vessels and bunker vessels. The system is fully enclosed, with vapour being collected and fed back to the terminal. At the new third berth small volumes of LNG, from 1,000 cbm up to 20,000 cbm, can be loaded, increasing to 40,000 cbm in the longer term. The LNG is loaded at a maximum speed of 1,000 cbm per hour and each year around 280 ships (including smaller ones) can be loaded.

Adjacent to Gate terminal, the Port of Rotterdam has developed the new, 255-metre long, 150-metre wide and 7.5-metre deep Yukon Harbour. The third berth of Gate terminal is built on this new quay wall and it can handle vessels of up to 180 meters in length. Moreover, the Port of Rotterdam is encouraging the use of LNG as a maritime fuel by giving discount on harbour dues.

As launching customer, Shell has reserved part of the capacity for the loading of small vessels including a bunker vessel that has been ordered. This combination will enable vessels in Rotterdam to be efficiently provided with LNG fuel in the near future. […]

Both shareholders Gasunie and Vopak support the continued expansion of Gate terminal. […] The project is key to facilitate LNG storage and to secure LNG supply in Northwest European ports, such as Gothenburg. The maritime connection between Rotterdam and these ports is regarded as a part of the EU ‘motorways of the sea’ concept and has therefore been selected for co-financing under the European Union's TEN-T program.

Edited from press release.

August 1, 2016

Anita Odedra joins Maran Gas

Previously a Vice President - Shipping and Commercial Operations at Cheniere and former Chair of the GIIGNL Commercial Study Group, Mrs. Anita Odedra recently joined Maran Gas, where she was appointed Executive Vice President - Commercial.

July 22, 2016

Total signs long-term SPA with Chugoku Electric

Total has signed a binding Heads of Agreement with Chugoku Electric for the direct supply of liquefied natural gas for a period of 17 years starting from 2019. Under the agreement, Total will supply Chugoku Electric with up to 0.4 million tons of LNG per year sourced from the company’s global portfolio.

June 17, 2016

Poland receives 1st Commercial Cargo

On June 17, the first commercial LNG tanker docked at the Swinoujscie LNG terminal, owned by Polskie LNG. The 210 000 m3Al Nuaman vessel came from Qatar. It unloaded over the week-end. The cargo was part of a 1 MT contract between Polish state-run importer PGNIG and Qatargas.

June 7, 2016

Dunkerque LNG expects first carrier on July 8


In Dunkirk, the first methane tanker for industrial testing with LNG is now scheduled to arrive at the terminal on 8 July. And Dunkerque LNG has prepared its arrival well in advance, as its commercial director, Christophe Liaud, explains:


"On 12 May, we received confirmation from TS LNG that the terminal would be technically ready to welcome its first methane tanker from 28 June. Over a year ago, we contacted the terminal's two clients, EDF and Total, to find out which of them was willing to have a methane tanker come to the terminal, given that the arrival of the first vessel would be a little unusual as it would be used to complete testing on the terminal and to ensure that everything is in place for the commercial start-up of the terminal, which is scheduled for September," says Christophe Liaud. "EDF accepted the principle."

The first ship to dock meets a very precise set of specifications, with several major constraints. The ship will call at the LNG terminal wharf for seven days (rather than the normal 24 hours). As the equipment will still be at ambient temperature, the LNG (at -160°) will need to be unloaded much more slowly than normal so the process gradually enters its 'cool state'. Proceeding in any other way would mean running the risk of damaging the equipment. Additionally, the LNG load must come from a liquefaction plant and have a sufficiently low pressure. The methane tanker must also be less than 15 years old to ensure it has the specific equipment required for the start-up of the terminal. Last but not least, the client must accept the risk of cancelling the call if the terminal is not in fact ready on the planned date. "It's a lot of limitations, I know," smiles Christophe Liaud. "But EDF has managed to find an LNG supplier who can meet these limitations while guaranteeing a competitive price. So the first methane tanker is scheduled to arrive on 8 July."

As soon as Dunkerque LNG knows the ship's name, it will have to make sure that it is fully compatible with the terminal (mooring, gangway, etc.), then, in collaboration with Dunkerque Port and its pilotage and tug teams, it will have to agree on the way in which the first methane tanker will be accompanied from off the coast of Calais. "We will also check that the LNG quality is compatible with the terminal," adds Christophe Liaud. Everything will be in place to receive the first methane tanker and continue with tests throughout the time it is docked.

A second ship will follow in August to complete testing. Commercial start-up is scheduled for September.