OREANDA-NEWS. Commercial operations at the 9.4mn t/yr Dunkirk LNG terminal in France will not begin until March-April, majority shareholder state-controlled utility EdF said today. It previously indicated that the terminal could start up this year.

The commissioning cargo for the terminal is now expected in January, it too was previously expected this year. Work on the project is 95pc completed, EdF said.

Reloading operations for full-size LNG tankers will be available at the terminal as soon as commercial operations begin. And Dunkirk will also offer small-scale LNG reloading for tankers with capacities from 7,000m?.

The terminal will have 13bn m?/yr of sendout capacity, or 9.4mn t/yr of LNG. As much as 3bn m?/yr of this capacity will be available to third parties — 8bn m?/yr is held by EdF and 2bn m?/yr by Total.

EdF has a controlling 65pc stake in the project, Belgian gas system operator Fluxys has 25pc and Total 10pc .

EdF has signed two LNG supply deals with US company Cheniere, with prices linked to the Dutch TTF hub on a des basis. LNG will come from Cheniere's 25mn t/yr Sabine Pass plant on the US Gulf coast.

Cheniere revealed a 26-cargo deal with EdF in August for deliveries to Dunkirk up to 2018. And it announced another deal EdF in September, for up to 24 LNG cargoes in 2017-18, which will probably head to Europe.