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25 April 2018

LNG event in Hamburg: How to shape the value-chain of LNG

Several German cities plan to ban diesel-powered vehicles from city districts – further bans will follow throughout Europe. Stricter sulfur and carbon dioxide limit values on the North and Baltic Seas, as well as later in the Mediterranean, are forcing the ship-owners to make extensive retrofits. And so, the diesel gradually fades from roads and sea routes.

LNG could benefit from it. The burning of liquefied natural gas produces only a fraction of the pollutants compared to diesel, gasoline or heavy fuel oil – and the range is greater. But it lacks the value chain – from liquefaction to transport fueling the entire supply-chain is missing, preventing the fuel’s final breakthrough in the gas station business. How this can be achieved was a subject of the recent LNG conference organized by Wisdom Events in Hamburg.

Wisdom gathered the who-is-who of the industry: representatives of ENI, Elengy, Gas Natural Fenosa, Uniper, Fluxys, Linde subsidiary Nautricor, Baker Hughes and NASA were present to discuss the chicken egg problem: If the decrease of LNG in large quantities is not secured, nobody will run a gas station. As long as LNG prices fluctuate, a freight forwarder will shy away from switching its fleet to LNG. Without the critical mass of demand, an LNG supplier will not offer the gas on long-term contracts with reasonable pricing.

Creon Capital is ready to invest in projects along the value chain for small and mid-scale LNG through the Creon Energy Fund. “We believe in strong medium term growth in this segment,” said Florian Willershausen, BD Director of the Luxembourg Private Equity Fund. “Banks are hesitating to finance because of the high volatility in the market. As a consequence, an equity partner like us is more than ever needed to realize the projects.” Creon Capital is currently evaluating several potential LNG projects and technology providers in Europe.