Royal Vopak, the Dutch storage company and shareholder in the Dutch liquefied natural gas import terminal in Rotterdam, said it was studying an LNG import facility in the south Australian state of Victoria after previously looking at a similar project in South Africa.
Vopak is an experienced LNG terminal operator and has a 50 percent stake in the Dutch Gate LNG facility in Rotterdam with 540,000 cubic metres capacity of storage.
It additionally has a 60 percent shareholding in the Mexican LNG terminal at Altamira in the Gulf of Mexico with 300,000 of tank capacity.
The company said that it was currently studying the feasibility of developing an LNG import terminal in Port Phillip Bay at Avalon in Victoria.
Vopak’s proposal for a facility using a floating storage and regasification unit is one of about half a dozen proposed for the southeast of Australia where natural gas shortages are forecast.
Victoria is the largest gas consuming state in that region of Australia and if the Vopak project moved forward the Dutch company said it it would expect first gas from around 2024.
Vopak said it planned to own 100 percent of the Victoria terminal, though it would evaluate partnering options if they arose.
“It is anticipated a facility would likely operate as a peak shaver for winter demand in the near term,” said Vopak.
Vopak in December 2020 joined US major ExxonMobil in saying it was studying possibilities for South Africa to become an LNG importer to boost gas-fired power and clean energy availability.
Vopak and ExxonMobil signed a memorandum of understanding on studying the development of a South African regasification facility.
So far no third-parties are involved in the process to make South African an LNG importing nation in the next couple of years.
The Rotterdam-based company said in its most recent earnings report that quarterly profits were impacted by Vopak’s share of a “one-off negative accounting result” of an associate industrial terminal in Malaysia.
That’s as annual net profits attributable to holders of ordinary shares of the company listed on the Dutch Euronext exchange dropped by around 47.2 percent to €300.9M from €571.0M.