EU prepares to import more LNG with boost in capacity next year

LNG tanker Source: iStock

The European Union plans to expand its capacity to receive liquefied natural gas by almost a third by next year as it presses ahead with replacing pipeline supplies from Russia.

The bloc will increase the number of LNG import terminals to 35 from 27, Maros Sefcovic, a vice-president at the European Commission, said on Twitter after a meeting with global gas suppliers.

The EU has almost completely weaned itself off pipeline gas from Russia — previously the bloc’s top supplier — just over a year after the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine led to a historic energy crisis. LNG, from the US, has been the main source of alternative supplies for Europe, which has also curbed energy demand.

Floating import terminals known as FSRUs have been a fast-track solution to add new capacity within months, including in the Netherlands, Germany and Finland. Additional capacity — even if not fully utilized — offers suppliers an opportunity to bring in more LNG and avoid bottlenecks the region encountered last year. 

By next year, the EU plans to raise its regasification capacity to 227 billion cubic meters, up from 178 billion cubic meters now.

“One of the most notable changes concerns the EU gas infrastructure,” Kadri Simson, the commission’s energy chief, said at a press conference in Brussels. “In less than one year, we have greatly expanded the portfolio of 23 LNG regasification terminals. We have eight new FSRU or LNG terminals opened or under development.”

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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