Finnish state-owned energy company Gasum has obtained a license for distribution of LNG in Belgium.
The new LNG distribution license will allow the firm to expand its supply network and increase bunkering capabilities in the country as part of its strategt to extend the outreach and quality of its maritime LNG offering.
“Obtaining this license underlines Gasum’s commitment to act as a reliable European maritime LNG supplier and enabler of maritime decarbonization. It also supports our growth strategy and enables us to deliver safe and clean energy, which helps our customers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions considerably,” Jacob Granqvist, Vice President at Gasum, commented.
The Belgian market is seen as key for many LNG customers in Europe as it lies at the heart of the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region and Gasum expects the new license will be critical for the expansion of its supply network in Northwestern European ports and waters.
“The significance of the ARA region and Zeebrugge as a bunkering hub is likely to increase, which makes it a strategically important area for Gasum,” Granqvist added.
As part of this development, Belgium’s port of Zeebrugge is expected to be central to LNG growth, thanks to its position as one of Europe’s leading hubs for pure car/truck carriers (PCTCs). Gasum forecasts that a rise in LNG-fuelled PCTC vessels will boost deployment of bunkering infrastructure in the region over the medium term, with Granqvist noting: “the number of LNG-powered car/truck carriers is growing rapidly, subsequently increasing the global demand for maritime LNG.”
Earlier this year, Norwegian shipping line United European Car Carriers (UECC) announced plans to introduced LNG-battery hybrid PCTCs on a new route connecting Zeebrugge with Scandinavia.
Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, Gasum is responsible for import and sales of natural gas in Finland and has operations across Scandinavia. The company is the largest processor of biodegradable waste in the Nordic countries and owns 17 biogas refineries in Finland and Sweden.