The liquefied natural gas, originating from the Snøhvit liquefaction plant in Norway, was shipped to Montoir-de-Bretagne, where it was then transshipped to a second LNG tanker that will deliver the cargo to the end customer in Asia. The two vessels have been under short and medium-term charters from NYK, the ship owner and GDF SUEZ partner since 2004.
The contract for this transshipment service has enabled GDF SUEZ to optimize management of its shipping capacities by chartering one vessel, the Grace Dahlia, on a short-term basis for the first leg of the route, while using the Grace Barleria, a medium-term charter vessel in its fleet, for the second leg.
This transshipment service offered by the LNG terminal operator Elengy, a GDF SUEZ subsidiary, makes use of existing pipelines that connect the two jetties directly. The LNG can therefore be transferred directly from one vessel to another, the transferred LNG being neither mixed nor stored in the terminal tanks. The Group thus benefits from Elengy expertise gained from its early successes in conjunction with these new services.
In a rapidly changing market, with new production zones developing in areas such as the Arctic, the United States and East Africa, commercial routes are becoming increasingly crowded. Maximizing the efficiency of LNG tanker fleets has become a major challenge. The transshipment possibilities offered by Elengy thus provide new flexibility to shippers, particularly the option to split large cargos into several smaller shipments or to change ships at mid-route between producer and consumer.
Moreover, GDF SUEZ benefits from its experience in Chile where it has successfully achieved transshipments through its subsidiary GNL Mejillones which is now recognized as one of the most experienced operator in this sector worldwide.