Shell, Vopak to build LNG terminal in France

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, July 17 -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Koninklijke Vopak NV have announced the formation of a joint venture aimed at developing an LNG terminal at Fos-sur-Mer, France.

Vopak LNG Holding BV will become the main shareholder with a 90% share in the JV, the Fos Faster LNG Terminal SAS, while Societe des Petroles Shell will hold the remaining 10%.

The firms said Fos Faster LNG will be developed as part of the expansion strategy of the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille and in close cooperation with the Port Authority.

“The joint venture combines the experience of Vopak in tank terminal development and operations with Shell’s position as the largest equity shareholder of LNG capacity among international oil companies,” they said.

The Fos Faster LNG terminal has an initial planned capacity of around 8 billion cu m/year of gas, more than 15% of the current annual gas consumption of France.

“Subject to market demand, permitting and approval processes the terminal could commence operations around the middle of the next decade,” the two firms said.

The proposed terminal would further enhance gas supply diversification by providing France and Europe access to new sources of gas.

Fos Faster LNG terminal will be positioned as an independent multicustomer terminal. The business model of the terminal will be similar to the Gate terminal currently under construction in Rotterdam.

Earlier this year, Koninklijke Vopak NV said it would build and operate a storage terminal for more than 1.1 million cu m of oil products in the Port of Amsterdam.

The terminal, which will be used for the storage and blending of gasoline and other clean oil products, will meet the need for additional storage capacity for products in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region (OGJ Online, May 28, 2009).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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