4Gas – LNG market access and security of supply



4Gas, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Natural gas represents more than one fifth of total primary energy consumption worldwide, and its importance has risen in all parts of the world over the last ten years. Natural gas is a clean and efficient source of energy for a variety of applications and is particularly competitive in power generation. This trend is set to continue. LNG is increasingly seen as a highly flexible cost effective route for bringing natural gas to consumers in a sustainable way from multiple locations. The LNG industry is going through a period of rapid growth.

LNG is growing because of underlying fundamentals – economic growth, increasing use of gas in power production, environmental factors and diversity of supply. There are no quick fixes for the world’s energy infrastructure problems. However, natural gas provides the most rapid solution of all. On top of that security of supply for buyers and diversity of markets for sellers tends to favour significantly increasing the proportion of gas delivered by LNG as opposed to pipelines.

Not a day passes without natural gas being major news in newspapers. Many of these articles are tinged with a form of paranoia born from a fear of lack of supply. However, the world is not short of gas. It is short of the infrastructure to harness those reserves. Therefore an increase in LNG infrastructure worldwide is required to increase supply, improve security and diversity of supply and moderate prices. The Dutch/British LNG company 4Gas, dedicated to LNG, is playing its part to allow exporting countries to bring gas to those consumers who today favour gas over alternatives. And the company is fulfilling this role as an independent player. Its vision includes a global network of independently owned readily accessible import facilities used to move natural gas flexibly and securely between producers and buyers. As an independent LNG ter minal developer and operator it can provide optimal flexibility and competitive prices to customers and commercial partners.

Dedicated to LNG

The terminal business is competitive so one sees many proposed projects but only a few are actually building facilities today. This is because LNG is not a simple sector. It requires focus and expertise. Against this background, 4Gas was established as a specialist company dedicated to LNG. 4Gas understands that as in any business, success goes to those that understand the industry and locales in which they operate. But more importantly, success goes to those that are willing to act and take risk.

Global reach

4Gas is developing projects on a worldwide basis and is set to become the first independent global operator of LNG import, storage and regasification terminals. Current developments of 4Gas include the Dragon LNG terminal in Milford Haven (Wales, UK), the LionGas terminal in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), a terminal in Le Verdon/Bordeaux (France) and one in Nova Scotia (Canada). The Dragon LNG terminal is currently under construction and scheduled to become operational in 2007. The LionGas terminal in Rotterdam is programmed to come online in 2010. In Nova Scotia an LNG terminal project is being developed to serve both the US and Canadian markets as of 2010. In France, 4Gas has signed an agreement with the Port of Bordeaux for the development of a new LNG import facility to be operational in Le Verdon as of 2011. Furthermore, the company is involved in high level discussions in four Asian countries within the framework of its global strategy.

Dragon LNG, Milford Haven, Wales UK

In 1999, 4Gas was first to identify and develop an LNG import terminal in the UK. By 2002 it had established Dragon LNG which is currently constructing an LNG import, storage and regasification terminal with a start-up capacity of 6 billion cubic metres per annum (6 bcma). The terminal is located in Milford Haven, Wales. This major facility will receive its first LNG in 2007. The terminal customers are two leading companies in the global LNG trade; BG Group of the UK and Petronas of Malaysia, who also joined as partners in the facility.

The start up capacity of the terminal will provide up to 7 per cent of natural gas deliveries in the UK. Over 18 million homes in the UK use natural gas and 45 per cent of all UK electric power is generated using natural gas. The demand for energy and natural gas is increasing at a time when the UK’s indigenous production from the North Sea is declining. The import of LNG will help fill the growing gap between supply and demand. LNG has been used in the UK for over 30 years and Dragon LNG’s partners have a long history operating in the gas industry, with BG Group and Petronas, one of the world’s leading LNG exporters, owning the largest fleet of LNG ships.

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