Nordstream, Gasunie, Gate Terminal and Qatar Gas emerged as the overall winners in the closely contested European Gas Conference Awards, which were recently announced at a gala reception hosted by Austrian gas giant OMV in Vienna.
Nordstream won the award for ‘Pipeline of the Year’, Gasunie the ‘TSO of the Year’, Gate Terminal the ‘LNG Project of the Year’ and Khalid Bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatargas was named ‘Executive of the Year’.
Pipeline of the Year
The first Nord Stream pipeline has been operational since November 2011 and the second is expected to be open at the end of this year. In naming it the European Gas Conference Awards’ ‘Pipeline of the Year’, the judging panel said it was in recognition of the project’s, “amongst others, meticulous compliance and permitting, solid financial structure, committed business partners, smart and environmentally sound logistics system, outstanding technical design, safe and reliable operations and open dialogue and transparency.”
The other pipeline project award contenders in this category were Nabucco and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
Executive of the Year
Qatargas CEO Khalid Bin Khalifa Al Thani won the coveted ‘Executive of the Year’ award in a category that recognised an individual who, through their dedication to the European gas industry has been pivotal in driving the industry forward. The European Gas Conference Awards panel lauded Mr Al Thani’s “passion for leadership with a primary focus on employees, the environment, and for his LNG buyers. He is the champion for the Qatargas 2015 Vision which has the goal of placing Qatargas as the world’s premier LNG company which would be known for its people, innovation, operating excellence, environmental responsibility and corporate citizenship.”
The Qatargas top executive was in very auspicious company: the other nominees in this category were Stuart Bradford, Shell Energy Europe’s Head of Strategy, Marketing and Regulatory Affairs, Nordstream Finance Director Paul Corcoran, BP’s Vice President for the Shah Deniz Development Al Cook, Dong Energy CEO Anders Eldrup and European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger.
LNG Project of the Year
The Gate Terminal in Rotterdam was named ‘LNG Project of the Year’ which according to the judges “will serve as an independent distribution point for European energy companies to address the rising demand for and declining production of natural gas in northwestern Europe. The terminal will both increase the security of supplies and enable new players to enter the European gas market.”
Gaz Systems and Qatargas were also recognised for their innovative and dynamic LNG projects at the European Gas Conference Awards.
TSO of the Year
Dutch gas powerhouse Gasunie won ‘TSO of the Year’ when the industry recognised the first fully unbundled TSO in Germany. The company was lauded as being the “main driver facilitating and supporting a liquid gas market in North West Europe. Due to its location at the centre of Europe, Gasunie Deutschland has enabled the reduction of market areas, is taking a leading role in defining the grid access conditions, has developed the processes and means for cross-quality market areas and set the benchmark for cross-border capacity booking and nomination by combining the trading hubs between The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.”
Energinet, Fluxys and Net4Gas were the other nominated companies in this category. This is the first time that the European Gas Conference Awards were given to recognise outstanding achievements in the industry.