Affiliates of Qatar Petroleum and the Belgian independent natural gas transport company Fluxys Belgium signed a long-term agreement for LNG unloading services at the Zeebrugge LNG Terminal.
The agreement was signed during a ceremony held in Brussels on Monday by His Excellency (H.E.) Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum Eng. Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi and Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Fluxys Belgium Pascal De Buck, in the presence of HE Belgian Federal Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Marie Christine Marghem.
Under the agreement, Qatar Terminal Limited (QTL) -a subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum- will subscribe to the full capacity at the terminal from the expiry of the existing long-term unloading contracts and up to 2044.
The transaction follows a competitive evaluation process as well as the approval of the Belgian regulators.
QTL is already a party to an existing agreement under which approximately 50 percent of the terminal's capacity is utilised for delivery of Qatari LNG into Belgium under long-term LNG agreements.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, H.E. Eng. Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi said "We are delighted to sign this landmark agreement today to extend and expand our existing long-term partnership with Fluxys Belgium for decades to come. We believe this arrangement will further support our customers in Belgium and Europe in general, by providing access to reliable LNG supplies from Qatar and allowing our customers to maximise the utilisation of such supplies."
His Excellency concluded his remarks by saying "Qatar Petroleum has long invested in and anchored LNG receiving terminal capacity in Europe, a key gas market, as part of our supply destination portfolio diversification strategy. We continue to be committed to supporting the EU's energy policies and providing reliable energy supplies into Europe. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the concerned Belgian authorities for their support, and we thank Fluxys for their valuable partnership over the years."
Also speaking at the signing ceremony, H.E. Marie Christine Marghem "I am glad that our two countries have been able to develop a close and successful cooperation in this matter. Qatar is the only gas producing country with long-term contracts for imports of LNG into North West Europe. Approximately 15 percent of our gas consumption comes from Qatar. This also demonstrates the solidity of our partnership. I will ensure that we will continue to enhance our mutual confidence and relationship for the successful cooperation between our two countries."
On his part, De Buck said "Today is a milestone for Fluxys Belgium. This agreement further extends our long-standing cooperation with our Qatari partners, secures long-term activity at the Zeebrugge terminal and further strengthens the facility's position as a versatile LNG gateway into Europe offering customers optimum destination flexibility. Ample pipe gas take away capacity from the terminal is readily available for delivery throughout North-West Europe as well as a range of options for downstream small-scale LNG distribution."
The Zeebrugge LNG Terminal in Belgium was commissioned in 1987. It has since developed, together with the Zeebrugge area as a whole, into a central crossroads for North-West Europe's gas network. Located at the point where a number of gas pipelines meet, the terminal plays a key role in Europe's natural gas supplies.
The terminal is operated by Fluxys LNG, part of Belgian independent natural gas transport company Fluxys. The terminal currently has 380,000 cubic meters of LNG storage capacity spread over 4 tanks and an annual throughput capacity of 9 billion cubic meters of natural gas. A fifth 180,000 cubic meters storage tank is currently under construction.
The ceremony was attended by H.E. Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Belgium Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Khulaifi, as well as senior executives from Qatar Petroleum. (QNA)
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