LNG Journal editor
Finnish natural gas company Gasum, an LNG supplier and infrastructure operator in Finland, Sweden and Norway reported lower profits and volumes ahead of the opening up of Finland’s gas market in 2020.
The company’s operating profits in the first quarter fell 16.1 percent to 61 million euros ($68.1M) from 72.8M euros in the same three months a year ago.
Quarterly revenue rose 1.5 percent to 396.6M euros from 390.5M euros in the year-ago period.
The Skangas LNG business is now fully under the Gasum banner and during the quarter the bunkering vessel “Coralius” performed its 100th ship-to-ship bunkering.
The vessel’s main operating areas are the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Skagerrak area and Gasum said the use of LNG for shipping fuel was growing.
Gasum said sales volumes of natural gas decreased year on year in the quarter while LNG consumption rose.
Natural gas consumption totaled 8.3 terawatt hours versus 9.3 TWh in the 2018 quarter and LNG consumption was up at 1.63 TWh compared with 1.55 TWh in the year-ago period.
The Manga LNG import terminal at the Port of Tornio, Finland’s second import facility, has progressed to commissioning. The other import terminal is at Pori.
“The world’s first LNG-fueled icebreaker, ‘Polaris’, received LNG fuel from the Pori import terminal in February,” said Gasum.
The company added that its preparations are gathering pace ahead of the opening up of the Finnish gas market at the start of 2020, which is when the transmission business will be unbundled into a separate company.
“Work related to the opening up of the gas market will continue strongly throughout the year,” said Johanna Lamminen, Gasum Chief Executive.
The gas transmission business will be unbundled from Gasum into a separate company by the beginning of 2020.
In relation to the transmission business, Gasum owns the Finnish natural gas transmission pipeline network and the gas inter-connector pipeline project constructed between Finland and Estonia (Baltic Connector) and is responsible for gas transmission to customers.
Until the end of 2019, Gasum will act as the Transmission System Operator (TSO) with system responsibility, and the new Gas TSO with its ownership unbundled from Gasum will begin operations on January 1, 2020.
The CEO also noted that the size of the Nordic heavy-duty vehicle filling station network will become many times bigger in the next few years as more vehicles switch to gas in heavy-duty transport.
”This year will see us open gas filling stations serving lighter vehicles in conjunction with the IKEA stores in Raisio, Kuopio and Tampere, Finland,” said Lamminen.
“Gas as a fuel is also attracting interest among public transport and particularly heavy-duty transport operators. The City of Lappeenranta will introduce low-emission gas buses and several transport companies have taken gas-fueled heavy-duty vehicles and biogas-fueled delivery vehicles into service,” she added.