Belgium’s Exmar to start offshore regas permit application before summer
Belgian gas carrier Exmar has posted consolidated 2006 results of $76.3 million, falling 7% year-on-year, the group said late last Friday. The downturn was due to milder weather and lower crude oil prices, putting long-haul liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) demand under pressure, Exmar said.
The contribution of Exmar’s LNG carrying business grew, however, rising from $29.9 million in 2005 to $31.9 million in 2006. Continued LNG growth was expected in 2007 on the back of the vessels Excalibur and Excelerate, the group said.
Exmar is now planning to start applying before the summer for port, river and regulator licences to install floating LNG regasification vessels offshore Belgium, c.o.o. Peter Raes told Heren Energy this week. “We are still carrying out the feasibility study and have to complete this before we can apply for permits”, Raes said.
Raes dismissed reports in Belgian press that Exmar was already in negotiations for Algerian and Qatari gas for the project, saying, “We wish! What [Belgian daily] De Tijd wrote is just nonsense.”
Raes confirmed Exmar would initially strike supply deals with partners instead of sourcing the LNG directly from the market place, although he did not rule out the possibility that the company might buy on the spot market at a later stage. Currently, Exmar has no portfolio LNG supplies.
The feasibility study is now focussing on two Belgian sites, Zeebrugge and Antwerp. No other locations were under consideration, Raes said. In Zeebrugge, it would have to compete with the onshore LNG terminal operated by Belgian gas TSO Fluxys, a subsidiary of Suez Group, as well as three Dutch proposals headed by Essent, 4Gas and Gasunie/Vopak.
Exmar hopes to have one floating offshore terminal up and running during 2008 at a maximum investment of EUR 60 million.
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