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Enagás will seek clients for the LNG that will leave the El Musel plant in March

Date: March 26, 2023 Time: 12:44:25

Enagás has already taken all the necessary steps to start up El Musel, in Gijón, as a liquefied natural gas (LNG) logistics plant. The operator of the Spanish gas system will receive the latest administrative authorizations in “a few weeks” and in March it will test the market with the start-up of the process for requesting expressions of interest (open season).

This was stated by the company’s CEO, Arturo Gonzalo Aizpiri, at the press conference to present the results for 2022. The manager stressed that the plant has “great commercial interest” and that for this reason the permits they manage the Ministry for Ecological Transition, the Principality of Asturias and the Gijón City Council.

After the establishment of the singular remuneration regime by the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC), it is the responsibility of the Ministry for Ecological Transition to issue a ministerial order on the technical and economic conditions for the provision of capacity or operation services of the facilities, in accordance with the first additional provision of RD 335/2018. This ministerial order, depending on the opinion of the technicians, could be informed by the Competition, which would analyze the effects of its incorporation into the definitive remuneration regime and its impact on the economic sustainability of the system.

However, this analysis should already take into account the special remuneration regime that the body chaired by Cani Ferandez has proposed, so that the authorization procedure should not be delayed. If the Ecological Transition resolution is favourable, as expected, Enagás may request the commissioning certificate of the facilities from the Industry and Energy area of ​​the Government Delegation/Subdelegation, which must deliver it within a period of one month from the solicitation. The activation of El Musel is one of the measures contemplated in the More Energy Security Plan (Plan +SE), “within the solidarity measures with the rest of the EU”, together with the increase in export capacity to France by gas pipeline , the naval bridge between the Mediterranean coast and Italy and the H2med. This terminal will make it possible to reinforce the security of supply in Europe in a total of up to 8 million cubic meters (bcm) of capacity.

In hibernation more than ten years

The Asturian plant was built more than ten years ago, but it has never come into operation. It has been in hibernation according to the provisions of current legislation, pending the corresponding permits. It was not until June 2022 when the administrative authorization resolution was obtained. The Vice President and Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, the President of the Principality of Asturias, Adrián Barbón, the Mayor of Gijón, Ana González, and the President of the Gijón Port Authority, Laureano Lourido, among other authorities, visited in July the plant together with Gonzalo Aizpiri, once the terminal had received the administrative authorization from the Ministry.

The company estimated at the time that it could be up and running for logistics use within six to eight months. Specifically, the CNMC has estimated a remuneration charged to the gas system for the plant of 25.3 million euros in the first year of operation, 24.2 million euros in the second and 22.9 million in the third. According to Competition, this remuneration “is less than the approximately 25 million euros currently received by the plant in a state of hibernation.”

“This amount improves the current situation because the amortization of the investment made begins and the use of the facility is made possible. The access regime and the singular economic regime will apply until December 31, 2026, or until the end of long-term contracts that give rise to the establishment of the same”, the organization has indicated, stressing that it may review the previous amounts in advance if there are investments in the plant that alter its operating regime.

Gas exports from Spain to the rest of Europe through interconnections with France increased by 22 terawatt hours (TWh) last year, while liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker refills from Spanish terminals increased by 45%, placing it in the third highest historical value. In 2022, Spain had a supply portfolio from 19 different origins, with new origins such as Indonesia and Mozambique.

Polemic with France

The project for the future H2Med hydrogen corridor presented to the European Union (EU) to receive community financing has a single flow in the Barcelona-Marseille direction, given that the only compression station is located in Barcelona, ​​stated Gonzalo Airpiri , noting that Enagás works “optimally” with transporters and managers of the French gas system (GRTgaz and Terega), in the midst of the debate that exists with France on the regulation of hydrogen at a European level.

In his opinion, “it is something natural” that when negotiating European agreements “the visions and interests of each country are accommodated” on how to meet their energy needs and their decarbonization roadmap. In this sense, he has ruled out that the impulse of the Gallic country to pink hydrogen endangers the hydrochloride. “The Spanish government has made it clear that this in no way changes Spain’s vision and priorities,” he said. He has also stressed that “although nuclear hydrogen may or may not be on-demand, it is certainly not renewable.”

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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