16 August 2005 02:00

Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 16 August 2005

The collaborative venture between N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie (Gasunie) and Koninklijke Vopak N.V. (Royal Vopak) announces that it has started a feasibility study into the possible development of a receiving terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a location in the north-west section of the Maasvlakte at Rotterdam.

The Maasvlakte was identified as a potential location following an initial exploratory study into suitable locations in the Netherlands. This initial study looked into aspects such as safety and the environment, connections to the Dutch gas transport network, client requirements and nautical considerations for LNG vessels. The presence of various industrial complexes in the vicinity of the Maasvlakte also offers collaborative opportunities aimed at energy savings. The search for other potential locations and consultations with the associated parties will continue simultaneously with the feasibility study into the Maasvlakte.

The selection of this potential location for an LNG terminal is the result of the collaboration between Vopak and Gasunie announced on 25 April 2005. A number of major market players operating in the LNG sector have expressed interest in using an LNG terminal and in joining forces with Gasunie and Vopak. In addition, the Minister for Economic Affairs has reacted positively to the initiative of Gasunie and Vopak.

As a combination, Gasunie and Vopak possess the key qualities required to realise an LNG receiving terminal in the Netherlands. Together, these companies have extensive experience in managing independent terminals, processing cargo delivered by tanker, efficient stock management for a range of customers, storing LNG and converting LNG into natural gas, gas quality assurance and efficient connections to the domestic gas transport network, among other things. This network is being managed by Gas Transport Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gasunie. Combining these qualities will ensure the completion of a successful project, allowing suppliers and customers of natural gas to concentrate on their core activities, such as production, trading and distribution.

After the successful conclusion of the feasibility study and completion of the procedures for obtaining licences, the construction of a terminal could commence in 2007. In that case, the terminal could come into operation towards the end of 2010. 

Profile of Gasunie

On 1 July 2005, Gasunie was divided into two independent companies: a gas transport companyoperating under the name N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie, and a natural gas purchasing and salescompany, Gasunie Trade & Supply. The activities of the new N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie includethe management and development of the national gas transport network and the supply of gastransport services. In carrying out these activities, Gasunie will exploit the increasing internationalgas flows. In connection with this, one of the organisation’s projects is a possible participatinginterest in the realisation of an LNG landing site. Gas Transport Services B.V. (GTS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie, but carries out its activities independently asrequired by law. GTS is responsible for the commercial management, operation and development of the national transport network. It ensures that there is sufficient transport capacity, is responsible for balancing the network and for connections to other networks.


Royal Vopak is the world’s largest independent tank terminal operator specialising in the storage and handling of liquid and gaseous chemical and oil products. Upon request, Vopak can provide complementary logistics services for customers at its terminals. Vopak operates 72 terminals with a storage capacity of more than 20 million cbm in 29 countries. The terminals are strategically located for users and the major shipping routes. The majority of its customers are companies operating in the chemical and oil industries, for which Vopak stores a large variety of products destined for a wide range of industries.