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LNG terminals managing record operations during crisis

Date

15 Apr 2020

Sections

Energy

Widespread crises, such as the current one we are experiencing, make us more aware of critical services and the systems that deliver them. The gas infrastructure is such critical infrastructure – delivering uninterrupted energy across Europe to continually produce electricity, fuel industry and transport, and provide affordable energy for cooking, heating and cooling.

Energy security is a key enabler for economic activity and an essential element of the recovery from the current crisis. As included in the G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers Meeting Statement, issued 14 April 2020, “ensuring affordable and secure energy are key in addressing the health, well-being and resilience of all countries throughout the crisis response and recovery phases”.1

Energy security is provided by natural gas, a growing amount of which comes by imports of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) at our European ports. Whilst some other markets are in decline during the crisis, LNG continues to be in high demand. According to the European Commission, in the fourth quarter of 2019, LNG became for the first time the second source of gas to the EU, covering 28% of the total imports and increasing by 42% year-on-year. This trend is expected to continue in 2020 as well.2 This shows the important role that gas plays at any point in time in Europe, none less so than during the current challenging period, and demonstrates how LNG contributes to the pairing of economic recovery with Europe’s climate and energy objectives.3

In addition to ensuring business continuity, LNG operators, like other gas infrastructure operators, are united in taking the risks of the Corona virus seriously and are adapting their operations to safeguard employees. LNG terminals have an additional challenge to make sure that their operations do not spread the virus outside the borders of the workplace, as Arno Büx, President of Gas LNG Europe (GLE)4 and Chief Commercial Officer at Fluxys explained, “LNG terminals receive vessels from all over the world with internationally diverse crews. We cannot avoid contact between the crews and our shore teams completely as a certain amount of physical handling is required to administer and run our operations. For example, pilots are required to board the vessels to bring them into the jetties and our teams need to work in cooperation with the ships’ crews to handle the loading and unloading arms and mooring systems.”

Despite such additional challenges, GLE members are taking the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus through preventive measures, including separated shifts, working from home and minimising paper handling through maximising electronic communications.


1

https://g20.org/en/media/Documents/G20_Extraordinary%20Energy%20Ministers%20Meeting_Statement_E N_v1.pdf

2 https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/market-reports-show-record-drop-co2-emissions-power-production-2019- and-record-lng-imports-2020-apr-07_en

3 GIE Vision 2050 at https://www.gie.eu/index.php/gie-publications/position-papers

4 GLE is a column under the umbrella organisation Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE).

Note to Editors

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators active in gas transmission, gas storage and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regasification. GIE is a trusted partner of European institutions, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders. It is based in Brussels, the heart of European policymaking. GIE currently represents 69 member companies from 26 countries. GIE’s vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.

Contact

Should you require any further information please contact:

GIE Secretariat

T: +32 2 209 05 00

E: gie@gie.eu

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