Dutch Gate terminal positions itself as LNG transshipment hub for Russian Yamal volumes

First Yamal LNG transshipment at the Gate terminal in Rotterdam (Image courtesy of Gate)

The Gate terminal in the Dutch port of Rotterdam is preparing to handle two more cargoes sourced from the Novatek-operated Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Russian Arctic.

This would put the Dutch first LNG terminal in the top spot with total five handled Yamal transshipments, Stefaan Adriaens, Commercial Manager at the Dutch Gate terminal told LNG World News on Monday.

France’s Montoir facility operated by Engie’s unit Elengy transshipped four Yamal cargoes since the Russian second export facility started shipping the fuel in December last year.

The ice-class tankers carrying volumes from Yamal LNG regularly transfer cargoes at north-west European terminals during winter, where conventional vessels pick them up for delivery to Asia or other higher-paying markets.

During Arctic summer, Yamal LNG will be delivering the chilled fuel to Asian-Pacific markets via the Northern Sea Route.

To remind, Gate in December performed the first-ever transshipment of a cargo sourced from the Yamal LNG project.

Since then it had conducted two additional Yamal transshipments with two more Russian cargoes heading to the facility.

The ice-class tanker Fedor Litke is scheduled to arrive at Gate in the next 24 hours while Christophe de Margerie is expected during the weekend, according to their AIS data on Monday.

These Yamal LNG volumes coming to Europe are still being sold on a spot basis. Novatek previously said it expects to start deliveries under long-term contracts in April 2018.

Gate has no long-term Yamal LNG transshipment contracts such as the Fluxys-operated Zeebrugge facility in Belgium has.

Gate’s Adriaens said that the terminal’s initial aim was to attract one spot Yamal LNG shipment, potentially positioning the facility as a “backup” for the long-term contracts.

Working with the terminal’s capacity holders, Gate seems to have managed to make “an attractive offer” to lure in Yamal shipments, he said.

Destination wise, the first Yamal transshipment from Gate landed at Spain’s Mugrados while the other two cargoes are still on the water and seem like they are heading towards Asia, according to Adriaens.

Adriaens added that he does not expect this rising trend of Russian LNG cargoes coming to the Netherlands to continue during the course of this year due to the expected start of Yamal LNG long-term contracts in April.


By Mirza Duran