Major European Gas Companies Committed to Gate Terminal (LNG) Project

N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie (Gasunie) and Koninklijke Vopak N.V. (Vopak), partners in the Gate terminal project (LNG), have reached an agreement with two major European gas companies for a total of 5 bcm per year throughput capacity. One of these agreements is with RWE, one of Europe's leading electricity and gas companies.

Gate terminal plans to build the new LNG terminal at the Maasvlakte in the port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Marcel Kramer, Chairman of the Executive Board of gas infrastructure company Gasunie: "With RWE we have signed a contract ("heads of agreement") with a guaranteed 3 bcm throughput capacity per year. Furthermore RWE expressed its commitment to this project by also acquiring a 10% equity stake in Gate terminal. I welcome RWE as a committed business partner.

Strong features of Gate terminal are its independent multi-user business concept and its excellent location at the entrance of the Port of Rotterdam, with good connections to the European market, a real gateway to Europe."

John Paul Broeders, Chairman of the Executive Board of Vopak: "With these first two contracts a significant part of the planned capacity (first phase 8-12 bcm per year) has been secured. I'm very pleased with this major progress in our project.

The commercial interest at the closing of the open season in the first quarter of this year was strong. Currently we are finalising contracts with several other interested parties, which will determine the initial throughput capacity for the first phase.

The design, permitting and operating licenses are progressing according to plan. We foresee to be able to take a final investment decision for construction of the terminal by mid 2007. With a 3 year construction period, Gate terminal will be fully operational prior to the end of 2010."

In Gate terminal Vopak and Gasunie have combined their experience in running independent terminals, handling cargoes brought in by ship, efficient stock management for a variety of customers, LNG storage, regasification, gas quality monitoring and safe and efficient connection to the European gas transport network.

N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie is one of the largest gas infrastructure companies in Europe. Its main tasks include operational management, maintenance and, where required expansion of the national gas transport grid. Safety and secure transport are leading principles. Gasunie actively contributes to the improvement of the functioning of the market for natural gas. In 2005 the throughput of gas was more than 95 bcm.

Royal Vopak (Vopak) is the world's largest independent tank terminal operator specialising in the storage and handling of liquid and gaseous chemical and oil products. On request, Vopak can provide complementary logistics services for customers at its terminals. Vopak operates 74 terminals with a storage capacity of more than 20.8 million cbm in 29 countries. The terminals are strategically located for users and the major shipping routes. The majority of its customers are companies operating in the chemical and oil industries, for which Vopak stores a large variety of products destined for a wide range of industries.

RWE, based in Germany, is one of the leading electricity and gas companies in Europe. In fiscal 2005, 86,000 employees worldwide within the RWE Group generated revenues of 42 billion. The company's core markets in the areas of production, retail and trading of energy and energy-related products are Germany, the UK and Continental Europe. RWE supplies electricity to 20 million customers and gas to 10 million. In Continental Europe, RWE supplies nearly 14 million customers with drinking water and wastewater services as part of their daily lives.


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