The Belgian Federal Commission for Electricity and Gas Regulation has approved the tariff and liquefied natural gas services agreement proposals for unloading slots and additional storage services at the Zeebrugge LNG import terminal.
The regulatory approval clears the way for Fluxys LNG to finalise new long-term contracts for the facility up to 2044.
“The approval allows us to turn binding interest from the market into new long-term contracts worth roughly 1 billion euros,” said Pascal De Buck, Chief Executive and Chairman of Fluxys Belgium, the transmission network operator.
The director of the regulatory Commission, Laurent Jacquet, said the tariffs have decreased for all terminal users who unload and store LNG, and inject natural gas into the transmission system.
“Through the new tariffs, the Commission has established a solid and stable framework for regulatory supervision in the future,” explained Jacquet.
“These favourable conditions consolidate Zeebrugge's position as an access point for LNG deliveries to Europe,” he added.
Fluxys said that the current long-term contracts for unloading at the Zeebrugge terminal expire in 2028.
During a subscription window held from 30 April until May 24 unloading slots and additional storage services at the Zeebrugge facility were offered over subsequent periods up to 2044.
“The subscription window proved highly successful and revealed binding interest from the market for the entire unloading capacity at the facility up to 2044,” stated Fluxys.
Fluxys and the regulator noted that the positive outcome of the subscription window process was the result of a combination of factors.
“Gas import needs in Northwest Europe are set to rise significantly,” they said.
“Gas production in The Netherlands and the North Sea is declining, while gas demand for power generation will increase to accommodate the phase-out of sizeable coal, lignite and nuclear power generation capacity in the region,” they added.
Fluxys stated that the subscription window offered an attractive tariff proposition together with optimum destination flexibility throughout Northwest Europe from a strategically positioned LNG terminal.
Zeebrugge is directly linked into the Belgian market (ZTP) and is fully interconnected with the gas systems of all surrounding markets.
These include the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) the German Gaspool, the Trading Region France (TRF) market and the UK National Balancing Point (NBP) and take-away capacity from the terminal is readily available.