On October 27th, the LNG tanker Ob River chartered by Gazprom arrived at the Montoir-de-Bretagne LNG terminal operated by Elengy, a GDF SUEZ subsidiary. The vessel, coming from the Pacific Ocean, is the first LNG carrier to transit the Northern Sea Route. She called at Montoir LNG terminal, located in the Nantes Saint-Nazaire harbor, for a cool-down operation which is a technical process aiming at loading into her tanks small quantities of LNG* (heel supplement).
The Northern Sea Route, or North-East passage, is a shipping lane from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean along the North coast of Siberia, most of the route being in Arctic waters. Navigation fairways are opened by icebreakers in order to extend the navigation period. This strategic route cuts the maritime distance from Northern Europe to Northeast Asia and North America by up to 40 % compared to southern sea routes via the Suez or Panama canals. This world-premiere by Gazprom is a first step in demonstrating the safe and commercial usage of this new maritime route.
Receiving at Montoir-de-Bretagne this kind of vessels from the Arctic waters opens new perspectives for the terminal, where LNG cargoes from Hammerfest in Norway, the northernmost city in the world, have already been unloaded.
*Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is natural gas that has been liquefied by cooling it to minus 160°C. Natural gas in its liquefied form takes up 600 times less space than in its gaseous form. The transportation of natural gas in its liquid form at atmospheric pressure means tankers can ship large volumes of energy, providing an efficient and competitive means of transport with more diversified sources and supply routes, as well as access to remote gas reserves.
As Europe's second-largest LNG terminal operator, Elengy, a GDF SUEZ subsidiary, serves all operators wishing to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) to supply the French and European markets. Elengy operates France's three LNG terminals : Montoir-de-Bretagne on the French Atlantic coast and Fos Tonkin and Fos Cavaou on the shores of the Mediterranean. Elengy has a stake of over 70% in Fosmax LNG and has full ownership of the other two terminals. At an international level, Elengy also offers its services and expertise as a partner for all LNG terminal projects.
Key figures of 2011 :
- Regasification capacity : 23 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year
- Quantity of energy received : Over 30% of France's natural gas consumption in 2011
- Shipments received : 220
- Customers : 22 for Elengy / 11 for Fosmax LNG
Press contact :
Marianne Decultot, communication officer