Gate terminal – main shareholders Gasunie and Royal Vopak – in Rotterdam has signed a financing agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and four other banks that already participate in the syndicate of ten international banks which currently provide long term financing to Gate terminal. This additional financing agreement supports the funding of the expansion of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) break bulk infrastructure and services at the Gate terminal in the Port of Rotterdam.
The investment in this break bulk infrastructure, first announced on 3 July 2014, is expected to boost the use of LNG as a cleaner alternative transportation fuel in the Netherlands and Northwest Europe.
The new infrastructure will be located next to Gate terminal. Since 2011 the terminal has enabled overseas LNG import into Europe, enhancing gas supply diversification and increasing the security of supply.
The new financial agreement is an addition of €76 million to the existing long term debt financing program of Gate terminal of €750 million, as originally established in 2008.
Construction of the new break bulk infrastructure is scheduled to start later this year.
Commissioning of the facility and commencement of the first services are scheduled for the first half year of 2016. Gate terminal will be expanded with an additional harbour basin, financed by the Port of Rotterdam, to enable LNG distribution for small-scale use with a maximum capacity of 280 berthing slots per year. As the launching customer, Shell plays a key role in enabling the project.
In January this year, Gate terminal successfully launched a loading station for trucks and containers, with a total capacity of 5,000 trucks per year. The new break bulk facility will continue the further development of the terminal into a hub, from where LNG can be re-exported to other parts of Europe and around the world.
The expansion of the financing facility will have a maturity in line with the existing financing which expires at the end of 2029. The European Investment Bank will finance €38 million and the syndicate of four banks a maximum of €38 million supported by an additional guarantee facility.
The project is key to facilitate LNG storage and to secure LNG supply in Northwest European ports, such as Gothenburg. The maritime connection between Rotterdam and these ports is regarded as a part of the EU ‘motorways of the sea’ concept and has therefore been selected for co-financing under the European Union’s TENT program.