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    Belgian TSO transits less gas in H1 2021

Summary

Fluxys saw industrial gas demand fall but residential demand rise sharply in the cold winter.

by: William Powell

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Belgian TSO transits less gas in H1 2021

Belgium's gas infrastructure operator Fluxus saw a 10% drop in transmission and distribution volumes in the first half of the year relative to H1 2020. Border-to-border volumes fell by close to 22% to 98.5 TWh but the amount of gas used in Belgium rose by around 10% to about 108 TWh, it reported September 29.

Of that, directly connected industrial companies took 24 TWh, 5% less gas year on year. Gas-fired power plants also took 24 TWh, up 0,2%; and the residential sector took 60 TWh, up about  22% year on year.

Fluxys' regulated turnover fell to €277.9mn ($322mn) from €284.2mn in the first half of 2020. Profit rose to €38.3mn from €36.6mn in the same oeriod of last year. Both changes were largely due to the different components in the regulated tariffs. Ebitda was down to €155,290mn from €160,810mn and Ebit down to €68,799mn from €69,553mn.

Fluxys is planning to develop its infrastructure to transport hydrogen and CO2. It said it is "laying the foundations for Belgium's lasting role as an energy hub in North-West Europe for the molecules of the future." It has had talks with 178 industrial sites on their demand for receiving hydrogen and delivering CO2 but it has not decided yet when the infrastructure is needed. When it has, it will solicit bids for capacity in infrastructure using the "transparent open season approach."

New this year is the decision to build three additional regasifiers using seawater to increase the send-out capacity at the Zeebrugge LNG terminal. This will "significantly reduce the terminal's energy consumption and emissions.," it said. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

Shipping traffic at the Zeebrugge LNG terminal remained at a similar level to the busy first half of 2020. LNG transshipment operations were down but many more small ships came to load or – in a first for Zeebrugge – unload LNG.

The first half of 2021 saw a sharp increase in demand for LNG as a low-carbon fuel for ships and trucks. The LNG terminal loaded a total of 3,200 LNG trailers, almost twice that in the same period 2120. The number of loading operations is expected to increase to around 6,000 this year.

In early 2021, the LNG terminal successfully completed the open season for additional regasification capacity. The offered capacity of 10.5 GWh/h was fully booked and so Fluxys too final investment decision to build it.

The existing truck-loading bays at the LNG terminal are gradually approaching their maximum capacity and four more are to be built to meet rising demand.

The terminal has been officially certified to make bio-LNG available since last year. A regulated service package is being developed to this end and we expect that customers will soon be able to book capacity for bio-LNG.

Fluxys Belgium had to lower its tariffs for storage services by 30% on July 1 but being regulated, this has no impact on Fluxys Belgium's results. In response to the evolving needs of the market, Fluxys has developed a new commercial approach to storage, offering simplified products, greater flexibility and innovative sales mechanisms.