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Gate Terminal expands to include a third berth

Published by , Editor - Hydrocarbon Engineering
Tanks and Terminals,

Gate Terminal and its shareholders Gasunie and Vopak have announced that the LNG terminal at the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam has been expanded to include a third berth and special infrastructure for the loading of small LNG vessels. These small LNG vessels will enable distribution to LNG terminals in other North Sea and Baltic ports where large LNG tankers are prohibited to deliver directly due to their draught.

In conjunction with LNG bunker vessels, the new berth will in future also make it easier for ocean-going vessels to fill up with LNG in Rotterdam. As with other kinds of maritime fuel LNG can be pumped on board large ocean-going vessels using bunker vessels. These can now be loaded at Gate Terminal, which receives LNG from large LNG tankers arriving from several global origins. The use of LNG as a maritime fuel is being encouraged by the European Union, the Dutch government and the Port of Rotterdam because of its more environmentally friendly properties.

The third berth is intended especially for small vessels. Gate Terminal has two jetties where mainly large LNG tankers berth to unload their LNG cargo into the three 180 000 m3 storage tanks. The cold LNG (minus 160°C) is pumped from these storage tanks along insulated pipelines to the new berth and, with the aid of two or three special loading arms, is loaded into the small seagoing vessels and bunker vessels. The system is fully enclosed, with vapour being collected and fed back to the terminal. At the new third berth small volumes of LNG, from 1000 m3 up to 20 000 m3, can be loaded, increasing to 40 000 m3 in the longer term. The LNG is loaded at a maximum speed of 1000 m3/hr and each year around 280 ships (including smaller ones) can be loaded.

Adjacent to Gate Terminal, the Port of Rotterdam has developed the new, 255 m long, 150 m wide and 7.5 m deep Yukon Harbour. The third berth of Gate Terminal is built on this new quay wall and it can handle vessels of up to 180 m in length. Moreover, the Port of Rotterdam is encouraging the use of LNG as a maritime fuel by giving discount on harbour dues.

As launching customer, Shell has reserved part of the capacity for the loading of small vessels including a bunker vessel that has been ordered. This combination will enable vessels in Rotterdam to be efficiently provided with LNG fuel in the near future.

“Thanks to the collaboration with Gasunie, Vopak, and Port of Rotterdam, we are ready to supply Shell LNG Fuel to marine customers in northwest Europe, through dedicated and scalable infrastructure,” said Lauran Wetemans, Shell’s General Manager Downstream LNG. “We provide fuel options to meet the current and future needs of our marine and commercial road transport customers. For marine LNG fuel customers we leverage our experience as one of the world’s leading LNG player.”

Ulco Vermeulen, Director Participation & Business Development and member of the Executive Board of Gasunie, commented: “Gate terminal adds again new functionality to the LNG supply chain by commissioning the new berth. The loading and distribution of smaller parcels will become more efficient. It will stimulate the use of LNG as maritime and road transport fuel tremendously. This supports the transport sector to improve its environmental performance greatly. Local European industries not connected to the gas grid will have easier access to LNG as clean fuel alternative.”

Frits Eulderink, COO and member of the Executive Board of Vopak, commented: “Facilitating the LNG market with a safe and efficient infrastructure and operation wholly suits the long term strategy of Vopak. The further extension of Gate terminal offers our customers much greater flexibility and efficiency and reinforces the terminal’s leading position in the LNG small scale segment.”

Rolf Brouwer, Managing Director Gate Terminal, commented: “The safe completion of the project without accidents or other incidents was possible thanks to the huge efforts of the Gate Terminal project team, all staff and the numerous employees and subcontractors working for Actemium, Chubb, Fabricom, Fluor, Future Pipe Industry, G+H, Iemants, Kaefer, Mourik and PRS. At the very height of the project, more than 300 people of ten different nationalities were working together towards a single objective: the safe and successful completion of the project. This resulted in a fantastic new berth and 400 000 accident free hours worked, for which I would like to thank everyone involved.”

Both shareholders Gasunie and Vopak support the continued expansion of Gate Terminal as a platform for the distribution of LNG to users in shipping, industry and truck transport. In addition, Gate Terminal was again able to call upon the European Investment Bank for the funding of this project as well as four other banks. The project is key to facilitate LNG storage and to secure LNG supply in Northwest European ports, such as Gothenburg. The maritime connection between Rotterdam and these ports is regarded as a part of the EU ‘motorways of the sea’ concept and has therefore been selected for co-financing under the European Union's TEN-T programme.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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