PARIS : The French government, together with large energy companies, are planning to install a new terminal for receiving liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the port of Le Havre in order to reduce dependence on Russian gas, French news agency Les Echos reported on Saturday, citing sources close to the matter.
“This project of a floating LNG terminal in Le Havre will be useful if we want to reduce our dependence on gas from Russia and increase the security of supplies. Therefore, everything must be done to expedite the obtaining of the necessary permits,” Jean-Francois Carenco, the chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission, told the media.
Carenco added that the goal is to have additional LNG receiving capacity brought on line within a year.
According to the media, the project for the construction of a floating terminal in the port of Le Havre is being prepared by the French Ministry of Environmental Transformation, energy companies TotalEnergies, GRTGaz, and port structures connecting Le Havre, Rouen and Paris, has not yet been finalized.
The floating terminal can import 50 terawatt hours (TWh) of gas per year or 3.
9 million tonnes of LNG. It will be able to receive liquefied gas from the United States, Qatar or Africa.
Natural gas prices were surging on the European market late last year, spurred by growing energy demand amid an economic recovery after months of lockdowns, as well as a limited supply. This has prompted the EU authorities to reinforce efforts toward ensuring the bloc’s energy security, the need for which has become even more pressing during the conflict with Russia, the EU’s main energy supplier, over the latter’s military operation in Ukraine.
Amid crippling global energy shortages, prices spiked further on Wednesday with gas futures topping $1,400 after Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed national energy giant Gazprom to change existing gas contracts into rubles.
On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Kiev forces. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow