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Reuters: Shell to import LNG via Rotterdam’s Gate terminal

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:54 AM BST

AMSTERDAM, April 17 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has signed an agreement to use up to 4 billion cubic metres (bcm) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity at a Dutch import terminal that is due to start operating in 2010, its owners said.

Dutch storage company Vopak and the national gas network operator Gasunie plan to build the LNG import terminal at the port of Rotterdam with annual capacity of between 8 bcm and 12 bcm, as energy demand is growing in Europe.

“Shell Energy Europe B.V. and Gate terminal B.V. have signed an … agreement for capacity rights for a maximum of 4 billion cubic meters of annual throughput in the Gate LNG regasification terminal in Rotterdam,” Gasunie and Vopak said in a statement on Tuesday.

Shell will be the biggest user of capacity at the terminal. German utility RWE and France’s EDF last year secured 3 bcm each, a Vopak spokesman said.

The terminal, which already has eight customers, is now waiting for them to arrange LNG supplies, probably from the Middle East and the Mediterranean region, before taking a final investment decision around mid-2007, the spokesman said.

Vopak and Gasunie could later expand the terminal capacity to 16 bcm a year, depending on demand.

Energy company 4Gas also plans to build an LNG import terminal at Rotterdam, Europe’s biggest port. The terminal will have an initial annual capacity of 9 bcm and is expected to become operational in 2010.

The Netherlands wants to become a major LNG distribution centre in northwestern Europe and maintain its role as a major gas supplier.

The country has shifted its gas policy to increase imports and keep its declining reserves, Europe’s second biggest after Norway, as strategic stocks and an important source of revenue.

LNG is gas cooled to liquid form so it can be transported without the need for building new pipelines.
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