Gate terminal, the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in the Netherlands, has started the construction activities for the new LNG break bulk facility at the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam.
Break bulk (or small-scale) services aim to split up large-scale LNG shipments into smaller parcels, enabling the distribution and use of LNG for maritime vessels, ferries, trucks and industrial applications.
The new infrastructure will be located next to Gate terminal. The Port of Rotterdam Authority will build a new harbour basin and quay wall, which is planned to be completed by the end of 2015.
Gate will construct the LNG installations, including berthing and loading facilities dedicated to bunker ships and smaller tankers enabling LNG bunker operations in the port of Rotterdam and further distribution of LNG in Northwest Europe.
The new facilities are based on a multi-user service model, open to all interested parties, and will have a maximum capacity of 280 berthing slots per year. The finalization of the construction, commissioning and first loading operations are planned by mid-2016.
Dick Meurs, managing director at Gate terminal, said: ”Gasunie, Vopak and Gate have jointly developed an innovative LNG break bulk concept upgrading the LNG hub capabilities of Gate terminal and enabling our customers to supply LNG as cleaner fuel for transport, shipping and industrial applications.”
Shell, as launching customer, has committed to buy capacity from Gate terminal, which has enabled this investment in the terminal expansion.
Shell has recently ordered a specialised LNG bunker vessel, to supply LNG-fuelled vessels in Northwest Europe. The new vessel will be based at the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and will load from the new LNG break bulk infrastructure.
”The new infrastructure will enable us to further improve our service to customers,” says Dick Benschop, president director of Shell Netherlands. ”We expect LNG will form a bigger part of the transport fuel mix in the future.”