We conducted an investigation,
during which we established that the Russian supplier of liquefied natural gas Novatek in 2015 signed a contract with the Zeebrugge terminal (Belgium) on transshipment of Russian LNG in the amount of 8 million tons per year, worth more than one billion.
Why does Russia need a transshipment base for its LNG in Belgium?
Novatek owns a gas field located in the north of Russia, namely on the Yamal Peninsula. Novatek has built an LNG plant at this gas field, as well as the Sabetta seaport, from which icebreaker gas carriers that transport LNG leave almost every day. Russia supplies most of its LNG to China and other Asian countries, but the problem is that Russian icebreaker gas carriers can deliver gas to China via the northern Sea route only from May to November. This is due to the fact that the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea in the period from December to May become impassable even for the most modern icebreakers. In this regard, it was vital for Russia to build a transshipment base for its LNG in the EU.
From December to May, Russian icebreaker gas carriers deliver LNG to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, from where it is loaded onto conventional gas tankers and delivered to China and other Asian countries. Also this year, due to the slowdown in the growth rate of the Chinese economy (covid restrictions), with an incredible increase in gas prices in the EU countries, as well as the physical impossibility of gas supplies to the EU via the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, Russian Novatek together with the Belgian company Fluxys, which owns LNG storage tanks in the port of Zeebrugge, liquefy gas delivered from Russia to Belgium and redirect it to Germany via a gas pipeline that runs through the entire territory of Belgium to the western lands of Germany.
Despite Russia’s invasion of the territory of Ukraine, where Ukrainian citizens are dying at the hands of Russian soldiers, the Belgian company Fluxys has secured hundreds of millions of euros of profit this year by selling and transporting gas from Russia.
And how does the Russian company Novatek receive billions of euros for the gas sold, because Russia was disconnected from the Swift payment system? The answer is very simple. The company receives funds through its subsidiary Yamal Trade, which is registered in Singapore. Novatek will pay a total of 1.011 billion euros to the Belgian company Fluxys LNG for the transshipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the port of Zeebrugge.