On September 23, 2011, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands opened the first Dutch LNG (liquified natural gas) terminal in Rotterdam. The purpose for the creation of the LNG terminal is due to the “…rising demand for and declining production of natural gas in northwest Europe.”
Per a press release regarding this afternoon’s event:
Developed by N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and Royal Vopak. Hundreds of foreign dignitaries, national and international guests amongst others attended the official opening ceremony.
The terminal will serve as an independent distribution point for European energy companies to address the rising demand for and declining production of natural gas in northwestern Europe. As an independent import terminal for LNG, Gate terminal will be an important factor for the European receipt of gas from other overseas territories. The terminal will both increase the security of supplies and enable new players to enter the European gas market.
Gate terminal has already began to receive LNG by ship, which is subsequently regasified and prepared for distribution to the Dutch gas transport network and further transport to northwestern European markets. With an initial throughput capacity of 12 billion cubic meters per annum (equals 25% of annual Dutch gas consumption), the terminal consists of three storage tanks with a total storage capacity of 540,000 cubic meters, two jetties and a process area where the LNG is being regasified. In the future, the terminal’s throughput capacity can be increased to 16 billion cubic meters per annum by building a fourth tank. Gate terminal dovetails with Dutch and European energy policies, built on the pillars of strategic diversification of gas supplies, sustainability, safety and environmental awareness.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Maxime Verhagen, ‘Gate terminal marks a crucial next step in the development of the Netherlands as the gas hub of Northwest Europe. Over the last decade, gas has changed from a local energy source into a global commodity. More and more countries are linking into a worldwide gas web – a web in which the Netherlands as home to Gate terminal, the Gas Access To Europe, can play a pivotal role.’
Paul van Gelder, Chairman of the Executive Board of Gasunie and Eelco Hoekstra, Chairman of the Executive Board of Vopak, jointly commented, ‘Gate terminal fits perfectly with the aims of the Dutch gas roundabout: LNG can be transported from all over the world, providing additional sources of supply for Northwest Europe. This diversification improves not only the security of supply, but also liquidity in the market, a factor which is becoming increasingly important in the European gas market. This first LNG terminal in the Netherlands was initiated by Gasunie and Vopak because we saw the perfect opportunity to offer new services to our customers. Our shared vision has certainly been one of the success factors of the project.’
Photo courtesy of: Koninklijkhuis.nl