The Participations business unit is responsible for optimum deployment of the existing participations. Investment projects also take place as part of this strategy and based on demand from the market.
The activities at Gate increased significantly over the past year. The number of unloaded ships increased in 2018, to 54 (2017: 18). 23 large tankers were also loaded (2017: 10), and 27 smaller tankers (2017: 5). The LNG break-bulk terminal supplied 19 smaller ships (2017: 17). 17 transshipments were also carried out (2017: 4).
In November, a record quantity of gas, approximately 700 million m3, was fed into the Gasunie Transport Services network (76% of the booked capacity). Gate is exploring the market interest for increasing the transmission capacity by 2 billion m3 per year. LNG can offset part of the decrease in Groningen gas production.
Gate has made the decision to boost loading speed from 2,300 m3 per hour to approximately 4,000 m3 per hour. This is expected to be ready after the summer of 2019 and will help Gate expand its service capacity to its customers and reinforce its LNG hub function in north-western Europe.
The number of trucks and containers loaded rose last year to approximately 2,800 in total for 2018, compared to about 1,600 for 2017. Full use is being made of the two automated truck-loading stations opened in 2017.
The growth in these break-bulk activities illustrates the growing importance of LNG for cleaner transport. For trucks and ships that run on diesel or fuel oil, respectively, LNG is a cleaner alternative fuel. Vehicles and vessels running on LNG produce far lower harmful emissions. LNG in containers is also supplied to industries that are not connected to the natural gas network, allowing them to nonetheless utilise the advantages of this fuel.
The development of LNG facilities contributes to the positioning of the Gasunie network in relation to international gas flows and to the functioning of the market in this region. It also lays the foundation for the distribution of a cleaner alternative fuel for ships, trucks and industry.
Over 30 TWh was transported via the Bacton-Balgzand pipeline (BBL) in 2018, an increase of fifty percent compared to last year (20 TWh). Due to high gas demand in the United Kingdom, the BBL Company transported a record volume in the first quarter of 2018. As a result, a substantial portion of the free capacity was sold on the PRISMA trading platform in 2018. This shows that BBL is well equipped to respond to market conditions and as such, it contributes to the security of supply for the United Kingdom.
Reverse flow project
The BBL Company is making changes to the pipeline system at the Anna Paulowna compressor station and the gas terminal in Bacton. This is expected to enable gas to be transported from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands through BBL in the second half of 2019.
As was the case in 2017, EnergyStock managed to market virtually all of its free capacity in 2018. This demonstrates once again the market demand for EnergyStock’s storage services. The pressure on the price for EnergyStock’s services persists, but for the medium term we still expect the supply of competing flexible storage services to decrease, which could push the price back up. A start was made in 2018 on developing an extra cavern for gas storage. We also started on the installation of approximately 8,500 solar panels at the location in Zuidwending. This provides for some of the company’s own electricity needs. Another portion of the electricity generated will be converted into hydrogen (HyStock project).
The certificates issued by Vertogas guarantee the green origin of renewable gas from biomass. This is important for the development of a sustainable green gas market, which will contribute to the CO2-free energy supply envisioned by 2050.
The volume of green gas certified by Vertogas rose strongly again in 2018, from 98 million m3 in 2017 to 115 million m3 in 2018. This increase was mainly due to new production installations for green gas that were started up in 2018.
In 2018, Nord Stream transported 641 TWh. This is 15% more than in 2017 (556 TWh).