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FRANKFURT: Germany’s Uniper will increase its liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity rights at the Gate terminal in the Netherlands by 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year from Oct. 1 for a period of three years, it announced on Wednesday.

European gas buyers are seeking to diversify procurement options that last year prompted Uniper and Gate, a joint venture of Vopak and Gasunie, to commit to a capacity increase of 1 bcm/year starting Oct. 1, 2024, it said in a statement.

“Both above mentioned transactions supplement the existing capacity of 3 bcm/year that Uniper has held since the start of Gate terminal,” Uniper said.

The need to diversify origins in the international LNG market has reached new urgency since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised the sceptre of supply disruptions on major gas pipelines from Russia into Europe.

“In these challenging times, Uniper continues to broaden the access of its global LNG portfolio into Northwest Europe to fortify the security of supply for Germany and the Netherlands,” Uniper Chief Commercial Officer Niek den Hollander said.

Uniper’s European regasification capacity, which receives liquid LNG cargoes and converts them for feeding into grids or other forms of onward transport, includes booking a slot at Britain’s Isle of Grain with 1.7 bcm/year, Gate with up to 5 bcm/year and market access in Spain.

Uniper last week signalled an exit from Russia and has written down its exposure to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

It has renewed plans for an LNG terminal in the German port of Wilhelmshaven which might be available from the winter of 2023/24.

In 2021, Uniper traded more than 350 LNG cargoes worldwide and operated seven LNG carriers.

Uniper is also nurturing plans to repurpose existing gas infrastructure to adapt it to usage of hydrogen from renewables in future years, amid decarbonisation drives.

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