Cartagena LNG Terminal (Spain)

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Cartagena LNG Terminal is a liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Province of Murcia, Spain.


The terminal is located at Escombreras Dock, Cartagena, Province of Murcia, Spain.

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Project Details

  • Operator: Enagás[1]
  • Owner: Enagás[2]
  • Location: Escombreras Dock, Cartagena, Province of Murcia, Spain
  • Coordinates: 37.57457, -0.9595 (exact)
  • Type: Import
  • Capacity: 8.7 mtpa[3][1]
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 1989[1]

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day


Cartagena LNG Terminal was commissioned in 1989 and includes five storage tanks with capacities of 55,000 m3, 105,000 m3, 127,000m3, and two with 150,000 m3.[4]

In February 2017, Enagás completed modifications to the LNG terminal, increasing its flow rate and reducing the amount of boil-off gas produced during loading operations.[5]

In April 2017, Enagás completed, in conjunction with Repsol S.A., the first pipe-to-ship LNG bunkering operation in Europe at the Cartagena LNG Terminal jetty.[6]

The Cartagena LNG Terminal has suffered from severe under-utilization in recent years, reaching a low point in the third quarter of 2018, when it used only 3% of its capacity. According to a December 2018 article in El Diario, the problem can be traced to Spain's over-construction of LNG terminals and poor regulation, which results in some terminals seeing virtually no traffic, while others such as the Barcelona LNG Terminal receive more vessels than they can handle.[7]


Opposition groups have cited the low utilization rates among Spain's LNG terminals to call into question the necessity of such extensive LNG infrastructure. According to Food and Water Europe in 2019 (prior to the re-opening of El Musel LNG Terminal), "Since 2008, all LNG terminals (except for Mugardos) have been expanded and the total regasification capacity has increased by 8%, despite a decline in gas demand...even though the utilisation rate of Spain’s LNG regasification capacity was at only ~23% on average between January 2012 and March 2019, same as the low EU average during the same time period! The need to have so much LNG regasification capacity is questionable and best illustrated with the El Musel LNG Terminal (7bcm/y and a 300,000m³ storage capacity) which was completed in 2012 and then directly put into 'hibernation', 'until demand picks up'. The terminal has not been used since then. Despite large underutilization, Spain was the 5th biggest LNG importer with the 5th biggest liquefaction capacities worldwide in 2018, and for both cases number 1 in Europe (followed by France). Since at least 2016, Spain repeatedly imported cargoes of fracked US gas through its LNG terminals."[8]

In 2023, after Spain had expanded its import capacity by re-opening El Musel LNG Terminal, Food and Water Europe found that Spain had the third-lowest import terminal utilization rate in the EU at just 42% (excluding El Musel LNG Terminal, for which there was not yet data).[9]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (May 24, 2022). "Annual Report 2022 Edition" (PDF). GIIGNL. Retrieved July 5, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Cartagena Plant". Enagás. Retrieved 2021-01-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. The LNG Industry: Annual Report 2019 GIIGNL
  4. Cartagena LNG Terminal, A Barrel Full, 10 Dec. 2014
  5. Enagás boosts loading ops at Cartagena LNG terminal, LNG World News, 15 Feb. 2017
  6. Enagás and Repsol Mark Europe's First Pipe-to-Ship LNG Bunkering, EMEA News, 24 Apr. 2017
  7. "La regasificadora de Sagunto alcanza un mínimo de utilización del 0% tras una inversión de 500 millones". El Diario. December 25, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Spain Food and Water Europe, accessed December 6, 2019
  9. "2023 EU LNG Terminal Utilization Rates Were Below 60%". Food & Water Action Europe. Retrieved 2024-03-01.

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External resources

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