A first floating storage and regasification unit for France is scheduled to arrive in Le Harve on the country’s north coast on Saturday.

The fully laden, 145,000-cbm Cape Ann (built 2010) is to arrive at its new bgv4 berth at Le Havre’s Haropa Port on Saturday, according to ship tracking data.

The FSRU, controlled by Hoegh LNG and on long-term charter to TotalEnergies, has been sublet to the energy major’s new, specially-created subsidiary TELSF.

TotalEnergies has said it will take 50% of the regasification capacity at the terminal.

The arrival of the carrier in Le Havre will mark the return of LNG to the port after a gap of 24 years.

France started operations at its first land-based LNG terminal at Le Havre in 1965. It had a total storage capacity of 36,000 cbm and a maximum regasification rate of 200,000 cbm per hour. The first imports arrived onboard the legendary 25,500-cbm Jules Verne (built 1965) on 28 March. The terminal closed in 1989.

In a comment about the imminent arrival of the Cape Ann, Eikland Energy’s iGIS LNG said: “It is France’s first FSRU terminal and will enter service at a time when France’s gas storages are over 90% filled, nuclear power plants are returning to service and energy prices are a fraction of what they were last year.”

LNG data provider iGIS/LNG detailed Cape Ann’s voyage from its previous long FSRU assignment at Tianjin, China.

It said that en route the vessel loaded a cargo in Nigeria which was discharged in Greece at the end of July.

Ship-to-ship transfer

It then idled near Gibraltar until the beginning of September before moving to Sagunto in Spain, mirroring the manoeuvres of its sistership Neptune (built 2009) in January before that vessel started its service at Lubmin in Germany.

Cape Ann then received a cargo by ship-to-ship transfer in Gibraltar port on Monday from the 165,500-cbm Seapeak Arwa (built 2008), which had picked up a TotalEnergies equity cargo at the Snohvit LNG plant in Norway at the end of August.

iGIS/LNG said the FSRU will need to pass through the Le Havre Ecluse Francois 1er tidal locks to reach its new berth which is connected to the gas grid by a new 3.5 km pipeline.

The data provider also noted that Cape Ann will use closed-loop regasification in a highly populated area and referenced the protests against noise and light pollution from residents seen this year at Elbehafen, Germany with the 170,000-cbm FSRU Hoegh Gannet (built 2018) and the Neptune at Lubmin.