US Sees Portugal as Potential LNG Gateway to Europe: Press
US companies are keen to expand Portugal's deepwater port of Sines because of its strategic position as an entry point for US LNG into Europe, Washington's energy secretary Dan Brouillette said on February 12, according to Reuters.
Sines hosts a 5.26bn m3/yr LNG import terminal – Portugal's only such facility – but beyond Spain, there is limited access to European markets as there is little pipeline capacity crossing the Pyrenees into France.
Portugal began accepting bids in October for the construction and operation of a new container terminal in Sines, while an expansion is underway at its existing terminal. These projects will enable the port to receive larger ships and greater volumes of LNG that can be transported elsewhere in Europe.
"It is a very unique and strategic point for us and a very good part of the economics of natural gas," Brouillette was cited as saying by Reuters during a visit to the port. "We are excited to see the development here ... and we look forward to working with Portugal and the industry here for this upcoming tender offer."
“I think you’ll see much US interest in this port. We’ll wait and see, as the tender closes, to see which companies may be on this. The fact they are here today looking at this, I think it indicates a very strong American interest in this port.”
The US is eager to make new inroads into the European gas market. US energy officials visited a port in Montenegro earlier this week to discuss an LNG project, and Washington has also launched an initiative with eastern European countries to develop the region's gas network, creating opportunities for US LNG suppliers.