France proceeds with LNG expansion amidst declining gas demand and Russian imports


France faces potential overinvestment in liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure as the utilisation rates of existing terminals drop and gas consumption declines, according to a recent study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

The research reveals that the average utilisation rate of France’s operational LNG import terminals stood at 60% during the period between January and August 2023. This figure represents a decline from the previous year’s rate of 74%, casting doubts on the necessity of the newly arrived floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) at the port of Le Havre.

The Le Havre FSRU, boasting a regasification capacity of 5 billion cubic metres, is slated to be operational for the next five years.

Despite a 9% decrease in gas usage in 2022, attributed to higher prices and reduced consumer consumption, France is contemplating an expansion of capacity for operational LNG terminals and international gas pipelines.

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