Continuing to evolve the way we use gas infrastructure in Europe

In 2017 Europe saw a vast increase in imports due to the European gas demand growing by 9%. This continued growth means that infrastructure must evolve and develop to meet these extra demands. With a mission to actively contribute to the construction of a single, sustainable and competitive gas market in Europe, Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) ensures European stakeholders successfully operate within the ever-changing regulatory framework.

To gain exclusive industry insights into Europe’s energy market, Gastech Insights spoke with GLE Vice-President & Board Member at GIE, Francisco P de la Flor, and Governing Body member of the 2018 European Autumn Gas Conference.

Gastech Insights: GIE has recently released its Small-Scale LNG 2018 database. Can you tell us more about SSLNG in Europe and where you see the market heading?

Francisco P. de la Flor: The small scale LNG business is definitely showing a robust increasing trend in Europe. While Small Scale LNG is not a new business, especially in some countries, the Small-Scale LNG 2018 map is showing that Spain, France, Italy, and the UK have been the leaders over the period 2016-2017, driving the growth in small scale LNG infrastructure by increasing the number of their operational facilities by 133%.

Small scale LNG infrastructure is heavily dependent on the proximity of large-scale LNG import terminals. At the end of 2017, 75% of operational small-scale LNG, and 65% of projects under construction or planned were in countries that have large-scale regasification terminals, mainly in Western Europe. This confirms that the large-scale LNG import terminals are the key logistical springboard for small scale LNG.

Among the different types of infrastructure, LNG fueling stations for trucks have witnessed the strongest growth over 2016-2017 (+200%). The number of sea and river small scale LNG infrastructure projects has also grown, albeit to a lesser pace (+62%). In the rail sector, 5 planned rail loading projects have been identified, in Northern Europe and Spain.

Gastech Insights: How important is the role of gas and gas infrastructure in achieving the EU energy transition goals?

Francisco P. de la Flor: The energy world is changing rapidly. Businesses, policymakers and citizens are committed to change Europe towards a low carbon society by 2050. Gas and gas infrastructure (transmission, storage and LNG terminals) have to play a key role in this process, allowing renewable energy sources to be integrated into our energy system and enabling a cost-efficient transition while simultaneously providing Europe’s energy system with the robustness to withstand also the coldest winters.

The way we use Europe’s gas infrastructure will be very different in the future. Europe’s gas infrastructure can transport and store large amounts of energy across large distances, its flexibility will be a key feature in our future energy system with a high share of renewables. Also, the gases transported and stored will be very different. Renewable gases will have a much higher role than today.

Gastech Insights: Why should industry players attend the 2018 European Autumn Gas Conference?

Francisco P. de la Flor: The EAGC is the place where you will hear from energy leaders and top policymakers. This very well-organised conference provides valuable market insights and expertise in the context of the host country, allowing participants to capitalise on this unique knowledge sharing and premier networking event. It is a great opportunity to review and update your assumptions, helping to identify and prioritise what’s really important and coming up fast in the gas industry.

Read the full interview on Gastech Insights >>

Would you like to hear more about the gas, LNG and energy industry opportunities and developments? Register your place for the conference today at EAGC 2018 in Berlin!

Image courtesy of GIE