The project would also help to cut energy costs for homes and businesses that are not connected to the national gas network, according to joint venture partners Flogas Britain, an LNG supplier, and Norwegian transport and storage group Stolt-Nielsen LNG Holdings.
Scotland’s off-grid natural gas is currently delivered by road tanker from Kent, in the south-east of England, adding to transportation costs and forcing many firms to use oil to power their industrial processes.
However, the plans announced today would see Stolt-Nielsen shipping in LNG via small-scale carriers for storage at the Fife port, which is owned by Edinburgh-based Forth Ports, before being distributed by Flogas across Scotland by road tanker, mainly to industrial customers.
The scheme, which is targeted for completion in 2019, will require permits to build a “small-scale” LNG terminal at Rosyth, capable of holding up to 15,000 cubic metres of liquefied gas. The construction phase is expected to create more than 100 jobs, with a further 50 roles generated for the site once it is up and running.
Rosyth port manager Fiona Doherty said: “We offer Flogas Britain and Stolt-Nielsen an appropriately warm welcome to the Port of Rosyth.
“As one of Scotland’s best-connected ports, Rosyth is an ideal location for the storage and distribution of their LNG product and we look forward to working with them as the development of the project gets underway. At Rosyth we are committed to working with customers to support Scotland’s future growth.”
The plans come after petrochemicals giant Ineos recently completed the first ever shipment of shale gas from the US to its refinery at Grangemouth, upstream of Rosyth on the other side of the Firth of Forth. Ineos said the shale gas would replace dwindling North Sea supplies and secure essential raw material for Grangemouth, supporting some 10,000 jobs there.
Flogas head of sales Rob McCord said: “This unique project is the beginning of Scotland’s LNG future and a chance to establish Scotland as an even greener nation. It will encourage the development of a natural gas infrastructure in Scotland’s remote regions and will attract future investments from leading industrial groups.
“Flogas already supplies gas to many businesses and housing estates in Scotland, and the interest we have from potential new customers is huge. The demand is certainly there. We now need to work with the Scottish Government and our other stakeholders to bring the project to life.”
Stolt-Nielsen has already secured permits for a similar project with the Italian government on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.