E.ON Ruhrgas joins Gate LNG terminal in Rotterdam

Major milestone for Germany's security of supply

(PresseBox) ( Essen, )
E.ON has made important progress in supplying Germany with liquefied natural gas (LNG). E.ON Ruhrgas is becoming a partner in the LNG terminal in Rotterdam known as Gate (Gas Access to Europe). The terminal is already under construction and will be completed in 2011. As a result of participation by E.ON Ruhrgas, the total capacity is being increased to 12 billion m³ of gas annually. This corresponds to more than 130 large LNG tankers that can dock there every year and provide north-western Europe with gas.

"The Gate terminal will be our gate for supplying the north-west European market with LNG," said Dr. Jochen Weise, member of the E.ON Ruhrgas Board of Management responsible for gas supply. "Joining this project is therefore a major milestone in supplying Germany with gas."

E.ON Ruhrgas has booked an annual capacity of 3 billion m³ of gas in Rotterdam. This quantity is sufficient to supply over 1.5 million single-family homes for a whole year. In addition, E.ON Ruhrgas is acquiring a 5 % stake in the terminal operating company. Gate is a joint venture of two Dutch companies, N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and Royal Vopak.

At the same time, Mr. Weise clearly expressed his commitment to the Wilhelmshaven site where E.ON Ruhrgas is likewise pursuing a project for the construction of an LNG terminal. "Even though we are not deciding in favour of Wilhelmshaven for the time being, we are adhering to this site as an important option for the future." Against the background of worldwide competition for LNG as well as adequate supplies of reasonably priced pipeline gas for Germany, the open season procedure for booking capacity at the Wilhelmshaven terminal showed that too few shippers are interested in booking firm capacity there. Mr. Weise explicitly emphasised the "intensive and constructive exchange of views" with the Federal Network Agency, the Federal Cartel Office and the permitting authorities.

Cost efficiency, early completion and a favourable geographical location currently speak in favour of Gate. Mr. Weise: "Our customers will benefit from this. Gate and Wilhelmshaven are on a par in terms of supply security, which is also a goal of German politics."

Mr. Weise stated that the total volume of the capacity booking and the Gate terminal stake is a high three-digit million euros sum. "We are prepared to make this advance investment without the upstream supply chain being fully in place. This underscores our commitment to security of gas supply in Europe."

LNG will play an increasingly important role worldwide and in Europe. Its share in EU 27 gas supplies will rise from approx. 10 % at present to at least 18 % by 2020. "We are determined to develop LNG business on a significant scale," Mr. Weise stressed.

E.ON Ruhrgas is already in a good starting position. As regards LNG procurement, the company is pursuing projects in North and West Africa as well as the Middle East. As part of the Endesa transaction, E.ON Ruhrgas now has a long-term contract on LNG intended for a power station in eastern Spain. As far as LNG regasification terminals are concerned, E.ON Ruhrgas has booked capacity not only at the Gate terminal but also in the UK, Italy and Spain and is examining projects in Croatia and France.

Further information: www.eon-ruhrgas.com
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