Mugardos liquefied natural gas terminal is getting ready to receive the largest LNG ship in its history, a milestone that will demonstrate its ability to capture all kinds of methane. Considering changes in navigation plans, Al Utourya will arrive next Tuesday at Reganosa's facilities. This Q-Flex vessel (from 210,000 to 217,000 cubic meters of cargo capacity) will become the first of its type to dock at Ferrol´s Port.
Al Utouriya will arrive in Mugardos from the export gas point for which the Q-Flex units were conceived: Ras Laffan in Qatar. Because of its size and efficiency, these are vessels that favor scale economies while increasing navigation safety. Ships of its kind cannot dock in any destination; it is only possible in those ports that have previously passed the exhaustive compatibility audits that the Qatari industry submits to any terminal. This is the case of Mugardos, which has successfully passed all the studies.
The vessel has already reached several major European ports. For example, it supplied LNG in Barcelona in May 2012 and more recently, in 2016, it did the same in Sines (Portugal). It has also operated, among others, in the terminals of Nantes (France) and Bruges (Belgium).
Al Utouriya was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2008. It is 315 meters length and 50 meters of beam. Equipped with the most advanced technology, like the rest of its type, the ship has 40 % lower energy and carbon emissions needs than conventional methane ones. Besides, it can transport up to 50 % more LNG, according to data released by the Qatari industry.
The arrival of this large vessel will reveal the versatility of Ferrol´s terminal, capable of receive both high capacity methane and small scale units, such as the Coral Energy, which maximum cargo is only 15,000 cubic meters. This gas tanker, which is usually used to supply small port satellite plants, visited Ferrol in 2013. Reganosa participates as a partner in the European project Core LNGas Hive, under which the Mugardos terminal will be able to count with a new cargo handling equipment for small boats and that will mean an advance in the consolidation of a large LNG hub of the Iberian Northwest.
This Q-Flex will be the number 294 on the list of arrived ships at Reganosa´s facilities since its start up in 2007. "Although we have already received hundreds of ships, this one is special in a certain way. It is a milestone, demonstrates the company's ability to face new challenges, to adapt to any scenario, and proves the confidence of our customers in our staff and our facilities", says Emilio Bruquetas, manager of the company.
Also the Ferrol-San Cibrao´s Port Authority recognizes the importance of the imminent arrival of Al Utouriya to the estuary. Its president, José Manuel Vilariño, underlines: "We put Ferrol on a new map, this time, on the Q-Flex kind of ships. We are working to make this port a LNG logistic center of global importance.