Enagás explains why small-scale LNG will further progress and trigger new facilities

Fernando Impuesto's picture
Fernando Impuesto, General Manager, Enagás Emprende
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Enagás reported natural gas demand in Spain grew in September 2017, reaching 26,153 Gwh, the highest September value in the last five years. In the year to date, natural gas demand in Spain has risen by more than 9% owing to rising demand in the domestic-commercial and industrial sectors leaving Spain with an optimistic outlook for the gas industry.

As Enagás, Spain’s leading natural gas transmission company, begin studies on the interconnection pipeline between Spain and France through the Eastern Pyrenees, Gastech Insights spoke to the Enagás Emprende​ General Manager, Fernando Impuesto to hear his exclusive knowledge about the STEP and MidCat projects and how the European gas sector is evolving. 

Gastech Insights: Is small-scale LNG having a substantial effect on the overall European gas sector? And where else in the world could such applications grow?

Fernando Impuesto: Small-scale LNG is having a very important and notable effect in the European industry, specifically in the North as well as in Spain. Currently the country has more than 1000 LNG satellite facilities providing LNG to the industrial consumer using a smaller scale approach. We think these technologies will grow in the future due to two elements:

  • Utilisation of LNG as transportation fuel - This will trigger developments of new refuelling stations in order to tend to the incremental demand for maritime proposals as well as for road transportation.
  • The access to new geographic markets -  When pipelines are not able to reach certain customers, small-scale LNG is the ideal solution. In the future, we will see the development of new small-scale facilities around islands in the Mediterranean, but also far away in remote places, where the traditional supply of pipelines cannot reach.

Looking outside of Europe, I believe the small-scale LNG industry will progress. Everywhere where the access to pipelines from the traditional chain is difficult will require this solution; an island being a very good example. Spain is starting to focus on different islands around the Iberian Peninsula, supplying LNG to the Canary Islands, as well as having projects to supply LNG to Corsica and Sardinia. I believe this is a solution which will not only progress but continue to develop in the future.

Gastech Insights: Could you give us some insight into what the ‘South Transit East Pyrenees’ project will mean for the European gas industry?

Fernando Impuesto: This project will play a very relevant role in the future. When talking about the European gas sector, security of supply and diversification are the key topics of conversation and both of these issues could be addressed with new international connections.

One of the most important links to be developed is the Pyrenees international connection, and this is what the ‘South Transit East Pyrenees’ project and the ‘MidCat’ project are focused on developing in the future. These projects will allow us to solve not only key security of supply issues but also, the high dependency we have with the eastern part of Europe, for example Russia.

STEP and MidCat will also introduce new gas sources – not only from pipelines, but from the utilisation of the current LNG terminals in operation in Spain and Portugal. Enagás currently has 7 LNG terminals that could be additional entry points into Europe, so the development of this international connection is going to add more security of supply, more diversification and in general, create a real gas market in Europe.

Gastech Insights: What are you most looking forward to at Gastech 2018?

Fernando Impuesto: Enagás are very happy to have Gastech 2018 in Spain. I look forward to seeing how the latest innovations are implemented in the industry.

Share your insights and join the conversation: Do you agree with Mr Impuesto’s comments surrounding small-scale LNG developments? Leave your comment below.

At Gastech 2018, Enagás is one of key consortium members. For a chance to speak at the upcoming conference, submit your abstract now.

Image courtesy of Enagas