Higas LNG deposit in Sardinia finally on the way

12 Dec 2018 - ConferenzaGNL

Higas LNG deposit in Sardinia finally on the way

Last 30 November was a turning point for the development of Small scale LNG supply chain in the Mediterranean and beyond. With the kicking off the realisation of the LNG bunker facility in the area of the industrial port of Santa Giusta in Oristano the methanisation of Sardinia will soon be a reality. Local and regional public authorizes took part at the ceremony as well as Avenir Ceo, it was the first public appearance for the company created to open the small-scale LNG distribution road.

Santa Giusta facility will have a dock for LNG loading and unloading, thanks to its six horizontal low pressure cryogenic 9.000 cubic meters tanks it will be able to guarantee inward distribution to matitime and land logistic, industries and inward distributions grid as well as electricity production plants. In addition to this, future Avio test facility will be also connected to Santa Giusta’s facilities.

The plant is the first in Italy to obtain the necessary authorizations and if it meets the planned deadlines it will also be the first to become operational by June 2020, the project was first proposed in mid 2014 by Higas, constituted by  the Italian CPL Concordia, specialised in the distribution of methane, and by Gas and Heat, a manufacturer of tanks for cryogenic fuels (LNG is stored at a -162C).

Currently in the Mediterranean basin only in Barcelona and Marseilles it is possible to refuel LNG through tankers that can also supply ships. Within the next year these sites, characterized by the presence of large LNG regasifiers, will be able to carry out ships refueling but Higas facility will stay as the first storage exclusively for final uses of liquid methane. The Commission foresees a spread of this kind of storage facility in all Europeans ports by 2025.

In 2016 Stolt Nielsen acquired a first Higas’ share, successively becoming the majority shareholder in venture with Gas and Heat and CPL as minority shareholders and the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor of the terminal. Stolt is a global leader in chemical ships and it completed the storage facility project with th realization of a 7.500 cubic meters LNG bunker vessel for reloading the LNG to a transport vessel for bunkering LNG-fuelled ships. This ship is expected to enter service in the Mediterranean by 2019.

For the small-scale LNG business, Stolt Nielsen set up Avenir LNG Ltd last year, a company in which in September 2018, with a 25% stake, entered Golar LNG Ltd and Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd. Both of them are world leaders in the development, ownership and management of floating LNG terminals (FRSU)

Avenir intends to become a  world player in LNG stocking and maritime bunker activities. In order to achieve this result 182 million dollars have already been allocated and additional 5 7,500 bunker vessels have been ordered, these ship will operate in the main world’s harbours. Higas will be the operative branch for the Mediterranean Sea being able to enjoy a significant industrial perspective and financial solidity. The allocation for the storage facility and the bunker vessel is approximately 100 million euro.

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