ExxonMobil Signs LNG Tie-up Pact with Uniper
German utility Uniper SE signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with ExxonMobil Gas Marketing Europe Limited in respect of a long-term booking of a substantial share of regasification capacity in Uniper’s floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) project Wilhelmshaven for receiving liquefied natural gas (LNG).
According to a press release, the parties will continue their discussions in the coming months with the goal to enter into binding agreements soon.
Keith Martin, Chief Commercial Officer of Uniper SE, says: “The Heads of Agreement is an important step towards the realization of the Wilhelmshaven FSRU project. The FSRU will provide LNG companies from the US, but also other countries from around the world with the opportunity to deliver LNG into the German and European market. This will increase security of supply for customers at competitive price levels. The FSRU technology allows us to realize the project fast and in the most economical way.”
Uniper plans to enable the FSRU at their site in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The FSRU has a planned send-out capacity of 10 bcm/a and an LNG storage capacity of around 263,000 m³. The facility could be in operation as early as the second half of 2022. The project benefits from the existing site in Wilhelmshaven where required infrastructure is already in place.
Wilhelmshaven is the only German deep-water port and can be reached without any tidal constraints. In addition, the favorable location of Wilhelmshaven with regard to the existing pipeline and gas storage infrastructure supports the realization of the project.
Uniper aims to develop the FSRU as a multi user facility and entertain discussions with additional counterparties that expressed serious interest in regasification capacity in the project. Uniper, as project facilitator, will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities to receive the permits for the operation of the facility and to gather interest for regasification capacity from additional market participants.
In December 2018 Uniper entered into an agreement with Japanese shipowner Mitsui O.S.K Line (MOL). MOL will own, finance and operate the FSRU.
The FSRU technology is commonly used in the LNG industry. Compared to an on-shore facility an FSRU can be built cheaper and faster. Risks arising during the construction period are reduced. The FSRU will be designed to allow for the use of LNG as marine fuel and onward transportation of LNG on trucks.
In addition, Uniper recently concluded an agreement with Dutch Titan LNG on the development of the technical and commercial interface for small scale LNG. The FSRU Wilhelmshaven will allow for the loading of bunker barges. Further, the construction of truck loading bays is planned to allow for the onward transportation of LNG by road.
Uniper is also expanding its LNG business activities in other areas: The company will be supplying up to 1 million tons of LNG from the US to southwestern Europe over the coming three years. The relevant agreements were concluded recently.
Uniper is drawing on LNG export volumes from Freeport in the US. An agreement from 2015 grants Uniper the right to export approx. 0.9 million tons of LNG (on a “free-on-board” basis) from the US for a period of twenty years. Since Freeport LNG aims to start initial LNG deliveries in the second half of this year, Uniper has already begun worldwide marketing of the LNG of this agreement.