Belgian LNG terminal Zeebrugge supporting year-round Russian LNG supplies to non-European markets | IEEFA Skip to main content

Belgian LNG terminal Zeebrugge supporting year-round Russian LNG supplies to non-European markets

March 29, 2022
Ana Maria Jaller-Makarewicz and Arjun Flora
Download as PDF View Press Release

Key Findings

Fluxys, Belgium’s regulated monopoly gas grid operator, has been tapping the Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market to deliver dividend growth for its shareholders after a decade of flat gas demand in Belgium. In recent years, the company’s revenue growth has been driven by increased activity at the LNG Terminal in the port of Zeebrugge, which struggled with a utilisation rate of only 11% in 2016.

Zeebrugge LNG was initially conceived as a way to ensure a secure supply of gas for Belgium, and the terminal kept this basic role until its initial supply contract expired in 2007. Now however, the terminal functions as a multi-shipper terminal, supplying LNG to destinations all around the world.

Executive Summary

Fluxys, Belgium’s regulated monopoly gas grid operator, has been tapping the Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market to deliver dividend growth for its shareholders after a decade of flat gas demand in Belgium. In recent years, the company’s revenue growth has been driven by increased activity at the LNG Terminal in the port of Zeebrugge, which struggled with a utilisation rate of only 11% in 2016.

Zeebrugge LNG was initially conceived as a way to ensure a secure supply of gas for Belgium, and the terminal kept this basic role until its initial supply contract expired in 2007. Now however, the terminal functions as a multi-shipper terminal, supplying LNG to destinations all around the world.

From 2007, Qatar was the main supplier of LNG to Belgium, but since 2018 there has been a significant increase in Russian LNG from the Yamal Peninsula in the Siberian Arctic reserves. In 2019, an entire storage tank was built in Zeebrugge, expanding the terminal’s LNG storage capacity by almost one-half, purely to serve a 20-year trans-shipment contract with Yamal LNG. The aim is to transship LNG transported by ice-breaker LNG carriers from the new production terminal in Sabetta, Yamal, to conventional LNG carriers.

Since then, Fluxys and its shareholders have profited by facilitating Russian exports of LNG to Asian, South American and Middle East markets, especially during the winter months—exacerbating the European energy crisis and adding to the profit margins of Russian fossil fuel interests.

Please view full report PDF for references and sources.

Press release: IEEFA Europe: Zeebrugge terminal serves as hub for transport of Russian gas to non-European markets

Ana Maria Jaller-Makarewicz

Ana Maria Jaller-Makarewicz is an energy analyst for IEEFA’s Europe team. Her research focuses on topics related to gas and LNG, as well as other relevant European energy issues.

Go to Profile

Arjun Flora

Arjun Flora is Director of Energy Finance Studies, Europe. At IEEFA, Arjun is responsible for leading and building the Europe team, partnering with funders, campaigners and investors to maximize IEEFA’s impact. As a research analyst, he covers several topic areas relating to the energy transition in Europe, including power utilities, gas infrastructure, sustainable finance, renewable energy, energy markets and consumption trends.

Go to Profile

Join our newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest from IEEFA