A new LNG-operated floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) reached western France this Monday, a TotalEnergies spokesperson informed, as Greenpeace tried preventing it from entering the port.
Demands for LNG in Europe have remarkably grown after the ongoing war in Ukraine. France depends on the four LNG terminals to replace Russia’s gas imports and help supply to neighbours like Germany.
The Cape Ann oil tanker with the new FSRU reached Le Havre port on Monday, per LSEG tracking data.
However, a press release said Greenpeace blocked the course of the tanker in protests at what they refer to as a contradiction between this new terminal and a government pledge in 2022 to make France the first-ever major country to phase out its fossil fuel use.
The terminal mustn’t be commissioned, and the country’s government must also abandon the new fossil infrastructural assignments and plans of extending the existing infrastructure, explained Helene Bourges, the head of the fossil fuel campaign headed by Greenpeace France.
Activists in kayaks blocked the vessel’s passage to the port entrance and also painted “gas kills” on the tanker’s side, Greenpeace mentioned, adding that the Scientists in Rebellion group members were present and started supporting the actions.
A spokesperson associated with TotalEnergies mentioned that the firm respects its right to demonstrate.
However, they added that it deplores all forms of violence, be it physical, verbal, or material, stating that the safety of the sailors and activists was the priority.
The spokesperson mentioned that the gas infrastructure at Le Havre is more likely to start its operation in five years and should also process LNG worth five billion cubic meters every year.
Alex Froley, an expert LNG analyst associated with a data intelligence firm called the ICIS, said the FSRU would be tied up into local gas networks before it is prepared to deliver fuel onshore.
An industry source agreed it would take up to days before the gas deliveries could start.
Froley added that the current gas supply scenario appeared to be very comfortable with onshore gas storage levels in Europe and the ongoing warm weather keeping the heating demands low.
References: Reuters, The Print, XM
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