EconGas – a European natural gas company with Austrian roots – is maximising its customers’ supply security by diversifying its procurement portfolio as part of its international expansion strategy. EconGas is widening its supply sources in order to keep pace with future demand growth. The company is also investing in liquefied natural gas (LNG) whilst retaining its long-term supply contracts with large producers.
“Expanding our LNG capacity is a top priority, and we are delighted to have taken delivery of our first cargo in Rotterdam. From now on we will be able to procure up to three billion cubic metres of natural gas per year for our customers via the Gate terminal,” said EconGas Managing Director Robert Teml. He stressed the importance of the contract for security of supply, and expressed satisfaction with the company’s excellent strategic positioning in one of Europe’s key LNG regions.
Operations at the new Rotterdam LNG terminal began when the first tankers put in there, ahead of the official inauguration in mid-September. The vessel that carried EconGas’ cargo has a capacity of about 135,000 cubic metres of LNG (81 million cubic metres of natural gas). EconGas was one of the first signatories of long-term contracts for capacity at the Gate terminal, towards the end of 2007, along with Denmark’s DONG Energy and the Netherlands’ Essent. The deal marked a major strategic breakthrough for EconGas’ LNG operations, and significantly strengthened its supply portfolio.
EconGas has gained a firm foothold in the international natural gas market in the past few years. Sales abroad accounted for 53.1 percent of total sales in 2010, and this share has risen almost tenfold in the eight financial years since the company’s formation. “Using Gate links our current sales markets with the main trading centres in northwestern Europe, and will enhance our customers’ security of supply,” EconGas Managing Director Jesco von Kistowski commented.
Pipelines will always play a central role in EconGas’ supply strategy because of Austria’s favourable geographical location, but LNG is an ideal addition to the company’s supply portfolio because of its flexibility. LNG is growing in importance, and in the past decade its share of the EU supply mix has risen from six to 15 percent. LNG is expected to account for around one-third of Europe’s natural gas imports in the medium to long term. Along with pipelines, it is set to make up for the decline in EU production and satisfy growing demand.
Source: EconGas, September 5, 2011.