ExxonMobil Eyes German Regas Capacity
US major ExxonMobil has signed a provisional capacity booking with Uniper at its planned floating gas storage and regasification unit at Wilhelmshaven, the German utility said January 25. The parties will continue their discussions in the coming months with the goal to enter into binding agreements soon.
ExxonMobil needs European capacity to land its US, Qatari and, it is likely, its Mozambican LNG, It already owns capacity in the South Hook terminal in the UK jointly with Qatar Petroleum and French Total. Operating since 2009, it can regasify 21bn m³/yr, and is Europe's largest.
Uniper said that it would be for "substantial share" of the total amount planned. CCO Keith Martin said the agremeent was an "important step towards the realisation of the Wilhelmshaven FSRU project. The FSRU will provide LNG companies from the US, but also other countries from around the world with the opportunity to deliver LNG into the German and European market. This will increase security of supply for customers at competitive price levels. The FSRU technology allows us to realise the project fast and in the most economical way.”
The plant will have a send-out capacity of 10bn m³/yr and an LNG storage capacity of around 263,000 m³, or enough for a Qatari Q-Max tanker. The facility could be in operation as early as the second half of 2022. The project is close to the high-pressure gas grid and onshore storage facilities. Wilhelmshaven is the only German deep-water port and can be reached without any tidal constraints.
Uniper, as project facilitator, will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities to receive the permits for the operation of the facility and to gather interest for regasification capacity from additional market participants.
In December 2018 Uniper entered into an agreement with Japanese shipowner Mitsui OSK Line (MOL). MOL will own, finance and operate the FSRU, which will be designed to allow for the use of LNG as marine fuel and onward transportation of LNG on trucks.