Following this agreement with Chevron, IBERDROLA began supplying the US market with liquefied natural gas (LNG) last month. Under this agreement the company has access to gas regasification capacity of 1 bcm (billion cubic metres) a year, the equivalent of the average domestic consumption of 1.5 million customers in Spain.
The company, which continues to leverage business opportunities thanks to its growing presence in the US, is now able to receive natural gas in this market via Cheniere’s Sabine Pass regasification plant located on the Louisiana-Texas border.
Gas from the plant is transported via the Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline to the national grid which supplies the country’s major gas consumption centres. The Sabine Pass regasification plant has five 160,000 m3 LNG storage tanks and two unloading docks capable of berthing the largest methane tankers in operation (266,000 m3).
This agreement, whereby IBERDROLA is allowed to unload one methane tanker a month in the US, according to its needs, aims to provide the group with direct access to a market that boasts high liquidity and demand as well as helping optimise its supply portfolio.
In May 2007 the company ensured direct access to another of its strategic markets, the UK, following the signing of a contract with National Grid providing Iberdrola with long-term regasification capacity of up to 2.8 bcm a year once the third expansion phase of the regasification terminal at the Isle of Grain (Kent) comes into operation at the end of 2010.
This agreement was signed following an open season process launched by National Grid for part of new capacity of the plant.
A leading gas operator
At 30 September, IBERDROLA, which since 2001 has reaffirmed its status as a leading gas operator not just in Spain but in other international markets, had 3.1 million gas customers worldwide (+40.9%), supplying 114,657 million kWh of gas to them year-to-date (+33.4%).
In 2008 the company won 55,000 new customers, bringing the total at the end of September to 230,300. Of the nearly 9,100 million kWh supplied in the first nine months of the year, 8,300 correspond to the industrial business segment while 800 are residential customers.
To meet the needs of these customers, in recent years IBERDROLA has signed long-term supply contracts with Sonatrach, ENI, GNA, Nigeria LNG and Snohvit. Today this gas comes from seven different countries: Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago, Qatar, Norway and Libya, affording the group's diversified supply portfolio with security and flexibility.
IBERDROLA has also become one of the leading advocates of new gas infrastructures in Spain in recent years. It currently holds a 20% stake in MEDGAZ, an underwater gas pipeline connecting Algeria with Europe via Spain.