Equinor has booked regasification capacity for the first time at the Klaipėda LNG terminal in Lithuania, providing the Norwegian energy major with greater flexibility to purchase LNG cargoes on the spot market
After completing its annual allocation of LNG terminal capacity, Lithuania’s AB Klaipėdos Nafta (KN) reported Equinor will be among three customers who will use pre-ordered 8.9 TWh LNG terminal regasification capacity during the gas year starting 1 October 2021.
Last year, 8.4 TWh was distributed during the annual capacity allocation process, and an additional 12.3 TWh of natural gas was ordered during the gas year.
“This year, the activities of Klaipėda LNG terminal will be more intensive than ever – during this capacity allocation procedure, the largest number of capacities in the history of the LNG terminal was ordered,” said KN chief sales officer Mindaugas Navikas. “Not only existing customers, but also the Norwegian energy company Equinor, which is planning to support its operations in the Baltic Sea region, have decided in advance to use the services and benefits of the LNG terminal,” added Mr Navikas.
The second-largest gas supplier in Europe, Equinor operates Hammerfest LNG, which has been shutdown for repairs and will not reopen until the end of March 2022.
Noting a trend that has been developing for several years, Mr Navikas said the “LNG terminal has the opportunity to flexibly respond to relevant market changes and adjust reloading and regasification needs accordingly at the terminal, and its customers actively make use of these benefits. Due to the constantly changing prices of natural gas in the global and European markets, the terminal’s customers more often choose to purchase LNG cargo from the spot market and order the necessary capacity during the course of the gas year. It is estimated that in the gas year of 2021 alone, the volume of regasification of spot cargoes will be twice as high if compared to the pre-ordered capacities.”
Terminal users ordered capacity not only to meet Lithuania’s demand for gas, but also to supply it to Latvia, Estonia and Finland. While planning their activities, customers also take into account the additional market potential that will open up in 2022, the GIPL gas pipeline connection between Poland and Lithuania will start operating and Klaipėda LNG terminal users will be able to supply gas to the southern part of the region.
During the current gas year of 2021 (that lasted from 1 October 2020, to 1 June this year), 49 LNG carriers have been accepted at the LNG terminal (compared to 50 in the same period of the previous year), and another 11 LNG carriers are expected by the end of the gas year. During this period, 2M m3 of LNG have been brought to Lithuania, most of which came from the US.
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