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37 tankers dock between January and May 2019: the Dunkirk LNG terminal benefits from a significant change in the balance between LNG supply and demand

02/07/19

Between January and the end of May 2019, 37 tankers docked at the LNG terminal. This intense level of activity is due to a complex combination of factors linked to the supply of and demand for LNG on global markets as well as the appeal of the Dunkirk LNG terminal in the market of north-west Europe. Pierre Dumont, Sales Manager at Dunkerque LNG, explains.

This situation has never been seen in the lifetime of the LNG terminal, which was commissioned on 1 January 2017: 40 tankers have already docked at the terminal since the beginning of the year. This figure should be compared with the 17 unloading and reloading operations of 2018. "The huge influx of LNG at our terminal is attributable, in part, to the supply of and demand for LNG on the global market," explains Pierre Dumont. Supply is higher than expected due, in particular, to the production of LNG that was early and greater than initially foreseen on the new Yamal site in Siberia: an overproduction that the Russians chose to channel primarily and for now towards European markets. At the same time, the United States successfully started up new production capacity and European imports from historical suppliers of LNG (Qatar, Nigeria, Norway and Algeria) also increased. "However, the increase in supply occurs at a time when demand in Europe is stable and demand from Asia is rising more slowly than expected, particularly in China," notes Pierre Dumont. "LNG producers must therefore find the best possible outlets or supply their LNG while taking these new market conditions into account." Under these market conditions, terminals in the north-west of Europe fulfil the market's expectations very well. "Dunkirk exceeds these expectations for at least two reasons," continues Pierre Dumont. "On the one hand, it offers access to both the French and Belgian markets and, on the other, it offers a competitive and environmental advantage thanks to the use of warm water from the Gravelines nuclear power plant to reheat the LNG and thereby turn it back into a gas (before it enters the transmission network), instead of using a more costly form of energy. Our clients can therefore unload, store and regasify their LNG at our terminal under very favourable conditions."

Article présenté sur la lettre d'information : Juillet 2019

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