The ice breaker ARC7 berthed at the Grain LNG terminal on the Isle of Grain in Kent - image used for the National Grid story 'Grain LNG receives 30 ships in three months, helping to secure the UK's gas supply'

Grain LNG receives 30 ships in three months, helping to secure the UK’s gas supply

Following its European record for gas exports last year, our Grain LNG terminal is busier than ever, helping to keep the UK’s homes and businesses warm through the winter.

Europe’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal has completed its busiest period since the start of operations in 2005. Over the last three months, 30 vessels have discharged their cargos at National Grid’s Grain LNG terminal in Kent.

What is LNG and why is it important?

LNG is natural gas in liquid form and occupies 600 times less space than it does in its gaseous form, making it easier to store and transport. It’s an important resource, as the UK increasingly relies on imported LNG to top up gas supplies – it’s estimated that, by 2030, around 75% of the UK’s gas will be brought in from around the world.

Grain LNG sets European record...

An oversupplied global LNG market means that gas that would otherwise have gone to the Far East is increasingly making its way to the UK and Northwest Europe. In November last year, Grain LNG set a European record when it sent 698GWh of gas into the UK energy system – enough to supply all of London and the South East.

...but makes sure safety comes first

Of the 30 vessels, 16 were new to the terminal, which brings its own challenges. All the ships have to go through an approval process, which sees safety inspectors braving rough seas in small boats to check them over, but all were inspected and approved without delays. 

Roy Thomas, Grain LNG Marine Superintendent, commented: “It’s been a massive team effort. It’s also been really inspiring to see how willing people are to help each other out, mostly in the early hours of the morning, in the wind and rain, during the Christmas and New Year period. All of us are motivated by knowing the vital contribution this terminal makes to ensuring a secure energy system for UK consumers.”

Find out more on the Grain LNG website