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Business Times (Malaysia): Petronas, Dutch firm in LNG pact

Kamarul Yunus,
Published: Apr 30, 2007

PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is interested to participate in the development of infrastructure for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas storage projects in the Netherlands.

The national oil company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie (Gasunie) recently that will pave the way for future collaboration between the two companies in LNG and gas storage projects.

The signing was held on the sidelines of the LNG15 Summit in Barcelona, Spain last Wednesday.

A spokesman at Gasunie, Hansch van der Velden, said both Petronas and Gasunie are looking at developing the LNG infrastructure in the Netherlands.

“Gasunie, together with N.V. Vopak, the largest independent tank terminal operator in the world, is developing a new LNG receiving terminal near Rotterdam.

“Petronas could have a role in this project. The final investment decision on the project called the Gate terminal is expected later this year,” he told Business Times.

The Gate terminal will have an annual capacity of between eight billion and 12 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas and aims to supply north-western Europe to help meet the continent’s growing energy needs.

Royal Dutch Shell will be the largest capacity user at the terminal, with up to 4 bcm a year, while German utility RWE and France’s EDF have secured three bcm each.

The terminal, which already has eight customers, is now waiting for them to arrange LNG supplies, probably from the Middle East and the Mediterranean region, before taking a final investment decision by mid-2007.

Petronas, meanwhile, is currently undertaking the Dragon LNG project in Britain, with cooperation from UK’s BG Group. The terminal is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

Asked whether Petronas would be offered a stake in the Gate terminal project, Velden said it is too early to comment on the matter.

Besides the LNG infrastructure, he said through the MOU, both Petronas and Gasunie would be able to exchange their experience in the development of LNG and natural gas.

This could involve for instance, an exchange programme with Universiti Teknologi Petronas and the Energy Delta Institute, a business school set up by Gasunie and the University of Gronigen, with the support of Russia’s Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell.

Gasunie is a gas transport company with an authoritative position in Europe. In 2004, the throughput of gas was more than 97 bcm, more than any other gas transport company on the European continent.

Its responsibilities include the management and development of the national gas transport network and the supply of gas transport services.

 

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