Vopak strengthens ties with Gasunie, moves forward with LNG projects
Dutch tank storage company Vopak has provided updates on its LNG projects, including EemsEnergyTerminal, Gate terminal Rotterdam, and Hong Kong LNG terminal project.
Vopak’s first update is in regard to EemsEnergyTerminal, an LNG import terminal located in the Eemshaven in the Netherlands.
Vopak and its long-term partner, energy infrastructure company Gasunie, have entered into a principle agreement whereby Vopak will acquire 50% of the shares in the terminal. According to Vopak, this transaction, targeted to be completed latest by 1 October 2023, will be subject to a number of conditions, including the approval from the competition authorities.
Vopak pointed out that the agreement highlights both companies’ commitment to jointly develop and operate open-access LNG infrastructure in the Netherlands and contribute to the energy security of Europe.
The EemsEnergyTerminal has been operational since 15 September 2022 and has a regasification capacity of 8 billion cubic metres per year. Vopak said the partners will explore to increase the capacity further.
To note, according to Vopak, the partners are also planning the further development of the Eemshaven site to facilitate the import of green hydrogen.
Ulco Vermeulen, Director of Business Development at Gasunie, commented: “I am pleased with the intention of Vopak to become a co-shareholder in EemsEnergyTerminal as our long-term partner in enabling energy import and ‘terminalling.’ By pooling our knowledge and experience we will offer a unique and reliable LNG import solution and we will be even better positioned and committed to the future development of green hydrogen import infrastructure.”
Walter Moone, President of New Energies & LNG at Vopak, said: “We are excited to build upon our successful partnership with Gasunie. This fits very well with Vopak’s strategy to grow in LNG infrastructure and accelerate towards new energies. We are proud to develop and operate reliable and open access infrastructure as this plays an important role both in the security of energy as well as in the energy transition.”
Gate terminal Rotterdam
As previously mentioned, Vopak and Gasunie are long-term partners. They are the founders and owners of the Gate terminal in Rotterdam which has been operational since 2011.
This terminal has a current regasification capacity of 16 billion cubic metres per year, and Vopak said the open season gauging market interest for an additional 4 billion cubic metres per year has recently been closed. Vopak said a fourth tank would be constructed for this additional capacity.
According to Vopak, Gate will continue to develop this project, including financing with the aim to reach a final investment decision (FID) by September 2023.
Once all envisaged projects at the Gate have been completed, the terminal is expected to have a regasification capacity of 20 billion cubic metres per year.
Hong Kong LNG terminal project
In regard to Hong Kong LNG terminal project, Vopak has decided to no longer pursue the acquisition of 49.99% of the vessel-owning company of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) that owns a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU).
To remind, Vopak has been working with the shipping major MOL for developing and commissioning the Hong Kong FSRU LNG terminal, with Vopak contributing to the establishment of a system for the operation and maintenance of the terminal.
Vopak said that although the project’s commercial start is expected later this year, its delay has resulted in reduced attractiveness and made the company decide not to make use of the share right. However, the company will remain involved in the commissioning of the terminal and will continue to provide support to the operation of the terminal as required.
Vopak previously announced that it aims to improve the performance of the LNG portfolio, targeting an operating cash return of above 12% by 2025.
It further said it will grow its base in industrial and gas terminals by allocating €1 billion to these activities by 2030 and it will accelerate its portfolio investments towards new energies and sustainable feedstocks by allocating €1 billion in growth capital to these activities by 2030.
To reach the targets, Vopak said it is having a disciplined approach to capital allocation. It noted that its equity investments in EemsEnergyTerminal and Gate terminal, expected to be around €100 million, will result in attractive operating cash return.