Tiny Madeira’s LNG use has grown from zero to 0.55% of Portugal’s gas consumption in three years, built up by locally-based Grupo Sousa’s ‘Gaslink’ subsidiary, and it’s now set to grow further as the tourist industry develops.
Portugal’s gas demand last year reached a record 6.5bn m³, itself nearly 25% higher than in 2016, according to gas and power grid operator REN. But even so, the 26,000 tons of LNG (or 36 million m3 natural gas) shipped to Madeira by Grupo Sousa and distributed around the island still managed to account for 0.55% of the nation’s gas consumption. That’s not bad for a market of around 250,000 people that had no gas prior to 2014, and GS director Pedro Frazao is pleased to take some of the credit.
“This is the biggest operation of its kind in the Atlantic,” he told a December 2017 LNG conference in Lisbon.
The Gaslink virtual ‘pipeline’ is actually a trading route between Portugal’s LNG terminal at Sines (run by REN), through Sousa’s shipping terminals in Lisbon and the Madeiran port of Caniçal and nearby LNG depot (also Sousa-run), using road trucks at either end, plus two containerships each week.
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