ssLNG 'heavily dependent' on large-scale import terminals: GIE

Small-scale LNG infrastructure database released for European market.

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Updated on 02 Mar 2018 15:53 GMT

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) - an association representing the interests of natural gas infrastructure businesses - has released a database that provides an overview of the available, planned and announced small-scale LNG (ssLNG) infrastructure and services in Europe.

In its key findings, GIE notes that LNG infrastructure is "heavily dependent" on the proximity of large-scale LNG import terminals. As of end 2017, 75 percent of operational small-scale LNG infrastructures were in countries that have large-scale regasification terminals, mainly in Western Europe.

France, Italy, Spain and the UK have been driving the growth in small-scale LNG infrastructure - increasing the number of their operational facilities by 133 percent over 2016-2017.

This concentration in Western Europe is expected to continue, GIE says. According to the data, 65 percent of under-construction or planned projects are in countries with large-scale import terminals. This is further corroborated by the absence of development of facilities that could liquefy natural gas from networks into LNG - confirming large-scale LNG import terminals as the key logistical springboard for small-scale LNG.

Among the different types of infrastructure, LNG fuelling stations for trucks have witnessed the strongest growth over 2016-2017: both the number of operational stations as well as the number of under-construction and planned stations have more than doubled to 167 and 71 respectively.

The number of sea and river small scale LNG infrastructure projects has also grown, moving from 31 to 50 over 2016-2017 (a rise of 62 percent), while the pipeline of new under construction or planned projects showed a slight decline from 37 to 31 (-16 percent).