Reloading Operations and New Services at Enagas LNG Terminals

ENAGAS S.A. - Spain

Enagas is Spain’s leading natural gas transmission, regasification and storage company and the technical manager of the gas system. It is also present in Mexico, Chile and Peru. The company is also registered as a Transmission System Operator (TSO) by the European Union, making it equivalent to other European natural gas transmission network operators. With more than 40 years of experience, Enagas owns and operates over 11,000 kilometres of highpressure gas pipelines, three strategic underground storage facilities and seven regasification plants. The Sustainable Management Model and CSR Strategy are key elements in the development and deployment of Enagas business, both the regulated facilities management in Spain and the international expansion. Enagas is a global leader in the Liquefied Natural Gas or LNG field. The company is constantly upgrading its facilities with the latest technology and offering cutting‐edge logistics and operating solutions to its customers and partners.

Desired Results

  • Developing infrastructures to offer new services to current and potential customers, to increase their use and future incomes by new final and transit demand, through the analysis, evaluation and proposal of enhanced procedures and technical implementations.
  • Improvement of technical ratios related to this new kind of services to increase the efficiency of the operations: reloading rate, boil‐off gas (BOG) losses rate, logistic efficiency.

Approach

Regasification plants have been key infrastructures at Spanish gas system since 1969. These plants allow vessels to unload LNG from any country in the world and satisfy demand in a flexible manner.

Once unloaded and stored in tanks, the LNG is turned into its gaseous state before being injected into pipelines. Enagas' traditional business was based on these services.

In 2008, Enagas foresaw a decline in natural gas demand due to changing market conditions. The booked regasification capacity at Enagas LNG Terminals began to decrease due to an increase in pipeline supply because Natural Gas (NG) was cheaper than LNG.

Faced with this situation, commercial, technical and logistical studies were carried out to identify the new needs of our customers. Customers, regulators, shippers, investors and employees were all 3 involved in the process of analysing, implementing and evaluating new service practices.

Particularly, Enagas did a technical and logistic analysis and a market research to attract new international customers to our infrastructures apart from providing better service to already established customers. This analysis was carried out following main Enagas stakeholder’s interests, including them on the analysis, implementation and evaluation processes: shippers, Spanish regulators and employees.

We discovered that we had to transform the traditional business model at our facilities, offering new logistic services, mainly vessels loading services for the international market. This new practice enables us to use our regasification plants to reload LNG onto vessels‐ opposite of what these plants were originally intended for.

Enagas developed a strategy to analyse market perspectives and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals in order to refurbish its terminals from the traditional LNG terminal model, meaning unloading of LNG, storage and regasification of NG, to the LNG terminal for transhipments model, meaning unloading of LNG, storage and reloading of LNG to export.

Therefore Enagas switched its business model strategy at LNG Terminals, specifically binding it to reloading operations. This paradigm shift implied the whole Enagas structure to switch its mind from the 1969 standardised LNG model to a new LNG model. Those changes were managed not only at technical level, but all staff structure was meant to be adapted to the new business strategy.

To support the new activity, a Commercial, Logistic and Technical plan was initially designed in 2008 on the forecast of future new LNG demand. The plan had to be modified several times between 2008 and 2012 as new technical solutions and issues arose during the effective execution of the reloading operations.

Read more and download the full submission document.

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