Last month Grain LNG Terminal sent out more gas than any other terminal in North West Europe.
Market conditions, a robust NBP price and anticipated lower variable costs, led to a record performance for December 2018. This is a stark contrast to December 2017, when the terminal only delivered gas above minimum send out on two occasions.
This winter, the UK has proved to be a strong market for LNG sellers looking to home excess LNG resulting from various supply projects coming on line.
During 2018 a total of 26mt of additional LNG production hit the market and shipping charter rates reached a record high. These two factors resulted in traders delivering more LNG than expected to Europe as the differential available between European and Asian prices did not justify the additional shipping costs.
The gas price in the UK remained steadfast and as utilisation at the Grain terminal rose it is expected that variable costs on a per unit basis would have decreased significantly as the terminal typically operates more efficiently at higher send out as per the design basis.
In addition, processing costs in the UK, where nitrogen is often added to the LNG to meet UK gas specification requirement, are to some extent fixed. Higher utilisation therefore translates into lower per unit costs and potentially higher profits.
Simon Culkin, Import Terminal Manager said: “We are delighted to see such high utilisation at our terminal and proud of our consistent performance and ability to deliver our customer nominations after a long period of low activity.”
Other UK terminals have also seen increased activity, with South Hook accepting their first ever cargo from the US.
Grain LNG is currently the only UK terminal in the UK which is capable of accepting the full range of global LNG due to its extensive nitrogen processing plant. The UK has a more stringent Wobbe limit than most of Europe but plans are underway to relax this, which should lead to a significant reduction in costs as well as ensuring LNG is able to enter any of the UK terminals.
National Grid plc & Profibusiness.world
17 January 2019