Exmar Applies for Domain Concession for Construction of LNG

Friday, July 27, 2007
Exmar has applied to MBZ, the Zeebrugge Port Authority, for a domain concession for the construction of a discharging and ship-to-ship transfer installation for LNG and high pressure natural gas in the Port of Zeebrugge (Belgium). At the moment, Belgium has only one single jetty to discharge LNG, at the LNG terminal in the Port of Zeebrugge.

With the view of securing additional natural gas supply for the country, in an effort to increase the diversification of the supply sources for LNG in Europe and in order to speed up the liberalisation of the Belgian and European gas markets, EXMAR wishes to build a new discharging and ship-to-ship transfer infrastructure in the Port of Zeebrugge. This infrastructure will be fully compatible with that already existing and will further strengthen the position Belgium commands as a supply and transit country for natural gas in Europe. For the construction and development of the new infrastructure, EXMAR is working closely together with such companies as Ondernemingen Jan De Nul (dredging), Praxair, Jacobs Engineering, ERM and ECOLAS. The infrastructure to be built, will allow simultaneous berthing of two conventional LNG carriers or LNGRV’s (regasification vessels). The LNGRV’s are able to regasify the LNG on board and inject it directly into the gas transport grid. As an alternative, they can pump the LNG from the ship to storage tanks onshore. Finally, they allow the transfer of LNG from a conventional LNG to an LNGRV. This precludes the storage of large quantities of LNG and, as a result, avoids the need to construct large LNG tank farms onshore.

Similar infrastructures are already operational at other locations worldwide (Gulf Gateway offshore Louisiana/US, Teesside GasPort in Teesport/UK) and has proven its reliability and flexibility. A second offshore facility (Northeast Gateway) is being built near Boston in the USA which will come on stream at the end of 2007. Exmar developed, together with its American partner Excelerate Energy, the LNGRV or Liquefied Natural gas Regasification Vessel. Exmar now operates a fleet of 2 conventional LNG carriers and 8 LNGRV’s, of which 5 are currently under construction.

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