Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) announced on Wednesday a deal to acquire the remaining shares of Norwegian liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier Gasnor AS not yet owned for $74m (€60.3m), as part of its efforts to build a LNG sales business.
Shell, a Gasnor shareholder with 4.1%, sees LNG as a good addition to its fuel mix for commercial customers, with vice president of Downstream LNG Colin Abraham pointing out the benefits of the group’s expansion into this segment expected to grow into a sizeable market, he said.
The addition of Gasnor brings significant customer and market insight, helping Shell to move fast to comply with customer demand for LNG and transport fuel, Abraham added. With marine customers seeking cleaner, cost effective fuel alternatives, Shell expects the European marine LNG market to become a key growth sector.
Gasnor’s CEO Eilef Stange sees the combination of Shell’s customer reach and Gasnor’s LNG sales and marketing experience to create a good position for both parties to capitalise on the growth potential for small scale LNG in Europe, mainly in the marine sector, he said.
The transaction is anticipated to complete in the third quarter of 2012, subject to clearance by the regulators in Norway.
Gasnor, leading its home market for small scale LNG, has three production plants and a distribution network comprising two tanker ships, a truck fleet and a number of terminals. It provides LNG as fuel to industrial and marine customers.