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Due to the lack of infrastructure for regasification in the ports of Europe, queues of LNG tankers awaiting unloading are lining up

Due to the lack of infrastructure for regasification in the ports of Europe, queues of LNG tankers awaiting unloading are lining upAbout fifty gas tankers filled with cargo can now circulate off the coast of Europe for quite a long time, waiting for their unloading. This peculiar traffic jam exposes another Achilles' heel of the European energy sector: lack of regasification plants, converting a gas from a liquid state back to a gaseous state.

The titanic task of filling European storage facilities by winter is almost completed. Last Saturday, warehouses in the EU were filled with more than 94%. (the worst situation was in Latvia, where warehouses are less than full 57 percent), which means, that Europe is well prepared for winter.

But the problem is not only, to fill the UGS, but also that, to meet urgent needs, without disturbing stocks, stored on “warehouses”, as long as possible. As a result of the batch of LNG fuel, ordered by individual countries in recent months, keep coming to Europe. But it is only because of the lack of regasification capacities that LNG tankers are forced to queue for unloading.

According to experts, unloading only the “traffic jams”, accumulated to date in European ports, may take more than a month – on condition, that there will be no more gas carriers arriving with cargo. But they will, as contracts are signed.

It is worth stating, that in Europe there is a complete mess with infrastructure, adapted to receive and process LNG. for example, more than a third of the total number of such objects is located in Spain (37%). France, next on the list, has about half the capabilities of the Spaniards. Among the significant players there is still Italy, The Netherlands and Belgium - but in their case we are talking about a fifth or sixth of the Spanish potential. In other countries there is, eg, one regasification unit (like in Poland) or not at all (like in germany).

Not only LNG collection points are missing, but also the corresponding gas pipeline connections, which would allow efficient distribution of the received and processed from liquefied gas into ordinary gas throughout Europe. It concerns, in particular, Spain, who is well prepared for, to receive LNG for own needs, and much worse - send it to your neighbors in the east. I.e, just no pipelines, that would connect it with other European countries – in those volumes, to transfer gas efficiently.

Wherein, the opposite is true, eg, in the case of warehouse infrastructure. Major European countries – Germany, France, Italy, as well as the Netherlands and Austria – have the largest gas storage, only about 75 percent of all UGS facilities in Europe. While many smaller states have only token opportunities in this area. Author:The same Mikhail

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