News detail

11th july 2016


On Friday 8th July, the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker has docked at the Dunkerque LNG terminal’s jetty, thereby launching the industrial start-up of the facility.

With the arrival of the Madrid Spirit, a tanker manned by a Spanish crew from Teekay company, the Dunkerque LNG terminal is receiving its first methane tanker along with its some 130,000 m3 of LNG, originating from a liquefaction plant in Bonny, Nigeria.

After four and a half years of construction, the last few months were reserved for several test runs of the installation without gas (stress conditions tests, commissioning of utilities, partially cooling with nitrogen down to -110°C).

Everyone in Dunkirk's shipping community took care to make sure the Madrid Spirit got safely to the terminal jetty. Once the tanker is moored and connected to the discharging arm, the facility will gradually be cooled to -163°C. The tank will be discharged slowly, over the course of 7 to 10 days.

The LNG will gradually pass through pipes to reach reservoir 3 and then all of the terminal’s gas storage installations (the other two reservoirs, pumps, compressors, and all pipework). Over the following 10 to 15 days, gas produced from the evaporation of some of this LNG will be sent to the flare. Once cooled, the terminal storage installations will send the gas out to the GRTgaz transmission network, at a low rate initially to test each of the terminal’s units.

A second boat is expected during the first fortnight in August, to carry out test runs of the whole system and performance tests (pump flow rates, compressors rates).

The terminal will be tested under normal usage conditions during the summer. At the end of September, the terminal should be ready to enter into commercial operations and be made available fot EDF and Total, customers of Dunkerque LNG.

"The arrival of the first tanker is a key milestone, the fruit of faultless dedication from all teams working on the project. It represents the end of the construction and the industrial start up of the terminal”, stated Marc Girard, President of Dunkerque LNG.

Dunkerque LNG is an EDF subsidiary at 65%, Fluxys at 25% (a group of infrastructures of transport of independent natural gas, based in Belgium and present through Europe) and Total at 10%. The construction of the terminal was decided on 27 June 2011. Situated in the town of Loon-Plage, it has three main structures: the platform and marine structures managed by the Port of Dunkirk (Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque), the LNG terminal itself, managed by the subsidiary company Dunkerque LNG SAS, and lastly the facilities for connecting to the French and Belgian networks, developed by operators GRTgaz and Fluxys Belgium. Dunkerque LNG chose the following three main contractors to build the terminal: Bessac-Razel-Soletanche for the warm water supply tunnel, Entrepose Bouygues for the reservoirs, and Techint Sener LNG for processing. The site represents an investment of €1 billion (2011) for the terminal alone. In addition to this were costs of €150 million for the port site and €80 million to connect the terminal to the Pitgam compressor station.

Attached file
CP VA 2016 07 08 - PDF (369.68 Kb)
Olivier Thierry
Dunkerque LNG