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Lloyds List: Shell plans to open French LNG facility

Fos terminal, to complement European interest, could come into service by 2015, writes Andrew Spurrier, Lloyds List
Published: Apr 25, 2007

The Shell oil group has announced plans to open a new liquid natural gas terminal at the port of Marseilles’ Fos deep water complex.

The group has indicated that the new terminal, which will have an annual capacity of eight billion cubic metres initially, could come into service around 2015.

The Fos terminal will complement the Iono LNG project already under development by Shell in Sicily and a recently-signed capacity rights agreement for four billion cubic metres of throughput annually at Rotterdam’s future Gate Terminal.

Shell said that the Fos project reflected its interest in strengthening its position in the European LNG supply sector and, in particular, in France which is the fourth biggest market in Europe.

It added that Fos was also well-positioned for the reception of supplies from the Middle East and north and west Africa.

A spokeswoman said: ‘The priority would be to supply the French market particularly southern France.’ But she added that other European markets would also be considered.

Shell said that its Fos project is still in the early stages but the timing of its announcement indicates that it has not been discouraged from proceeding with it by the recent dispute over manning of the new LNG terminal currently being completed by Gaz de France at Fos.

The port’s Fos and Lavera oil terminals were paralysed for 18 days last month after port authority personnel went on strike in support of a claim for jobs at the new LNG terminal.

The dispute was settled after Gaz de France came under pressure from the French government to go back on its original refusal to take on port authority personnel at the new facility.

The deal was greeted by outrage from local employers’ bodies who claimed the government had sacrificed efforts to establish full operator control in French port terminals to political expediency.

 

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