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2020: an unprecedented year with many projects


The arrival of 2021 provides an opportunity to take stock of the past year and look ahead to the coming year. Despite the health crisis, the teams at the Dunkerque LNG terminal have continued to fulfil their role of supplying the country with gas, with the new services satisfying market expectations. These are positive factors which bode well for 2021, despite ongoing uncertainties. Cedric Vandenbroucke, Sales Manager of Dunkerque LNG, explains.

"Analysing 2020 from a commercial perspective is an interesting task, considering what an unusual year it was. In 2020, the terminal teams carried out 48 unloading and 4 loading operations – slightly fewer than in 2019, which was a record year. 2020 started well with the winter shipments. The world health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic turned the market upside down and created new cycles. In the first quarter, with Asian industries at a standstill, outlets had to be found for LNG shipments. As a result, the market moved to Europe. Almost 100% of our customer capacity was used. From July onwards, activity decreased significantly. Then from the end of August, the price difference between Asia and Europe was no longer in our favour, with supply sources diversified. On August 26th our teams were still able to achieve a record for the quantity of LNG unloaded from a carrier: 262,796 m3 . In 2020, we also filled four cargo ships bound for other countries. Despite the health constraints, our activities have never stopped. This is all the more important given the strategic nature of the energy business, without which the country is unable to function.

Tank trucks filling and small vessels

Throughout 2020, the Dunkerque LNG teams worked to develop new services in line with their customers’ requirements. For example, in June, we commissioned our LNG tank trucks filling station, capable of processing 3,000 vehicles a year – which represents around 60,000 tonnes of LNG. The sales department is working to promote this new service in close collaboration with the technical department, its point of contact on-site. We have already signed five contracts with five different customers. Demand is expected to be strong in 2021, given the six-week stop of the Gate terminal in the Netherlands for maintenance.

We have also completed work on modifying the jetty to accommodate smaller "bunker barge" ships, with capacities of between 5,000 and 30,000 m3. They are designed to supply larger LNG-powered vessels. A demonstration is planned for the first half of 2021. At the same time, on 18 January, Dunkerque LNG launched a call for interest regarding its new services in order to obtain a better understanding of market requirements. We will use this information to establish areas of future development and examine the potential benefit of constructing a second jetty dedicated to refuelling.

With so many remaining uncertainties, it is hard to predict what 2021 has in store for us. What is certain is that the entire sales team is fully committed to responding to customer and market expectations and seizing opportunities."

Article présenté sur la lettre d'information : Mars 2021


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