Although its international rise started in Latin America in the early 1990s, Gas Natural Fenosa was founded in Spain more than 170 years ago. Since those early days, Gas Natural Fenosa has expanded its operations on five continents and become Spain’s first company to integrate the gas and electricity businesses.
“Gas Natual Fenosa’s diversified business model has been the key to the outstanding results of our group during the last few years, even in a very difficult crisis environment,” points out Fernando Herrera, General Director of Gas Natural Europe. “CO2 emissions from natural gas combustion are considerably lower, and the product causes less environmental pollution. Moreover, it is available at a very competitive price.”
Today Gas Natural Fenosa is a leading company in the gas and electricity sector worldwide. It is the main supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Mediterranean and Atlantic basins.
“We are a supplier and sales agents for natural gas in Europe, Asia and Latin America,” explains Mr. Herrera. “We manage a global portfolio of gas supplies that we can transport to the markets where we have a presence, mostly in our own LNG tankers or through our international pipelines.”
Gas Natural Europe, a subsidiary of Gas Natural Fenosa, was set up in Paris in 2005 to target Northern Europe. In less than ten years, it has also established itself successfully in Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.
This impressive expansion is attributed to its experience and innovation as well as the backing of its powerful parent group. This enabled it achieve turnover of around one billion EUR in 2014. Tasked with selling energy in the European market, Gas Natural Europe serves clients in several fields, ranging from industrial companies to the public sector.
“Our focus is on establishing long-term relationships with our customers,” emphasizes Mr. Herrera. “We have won many industrial clients in Europe and support Gas Natural Fenosa’s natural gas sales in the European wholesale market. Our strength as a group and impressive growth derive from our independence, ambition and desire to shake up what has long been a staid market.”
Market liberalization has brought some much-needed movement to the energy markets, but other factors are also forcing changes. As environmental problems and energy costs continue to rise, the search for alternative fuels is becoming even more pressing.
With a range of environmental benefits and substantial economic savings in its favour, natural gas is increasingly being seen as the cleaner, efficient and flexible energy option.
Indeed, natural gas is a clean-burning fuel whose combustion leaves no unburned residues, particles or soot and produces less greenhouse gases than other fossil fuels.
At the same time, power generation with natural gas provides the right balance of low emissions, high flexibility and low investment costs that are needed to achieve the ambitious emissions reductions plans currently being defined by most governments. This can be done by substituting more polluting generation technologies, such as coal or fuel oil, or as a backup for solar and wind power generation.
In view of these advantages, the growing appeal of natural gas is easily understandable, just like the growing success of one of the leading companies dedicated to its promotion and distribution: Gas Natural Fenosa.
Innovation is what is powering Gas Natural Europe’s impressive growth. A good example is an LNG fuelling network for long-distance trucks, which is currently being developed.
“We have created the first network of its kind in Europe with currently nine LNG fuelling stations in Spain and one in France already,” says Mr. Herrera. “About ten additional LNG fuelling stations are in the construction or planning stage and are intended to plug the gaps on the main European corridors, starting with Spain and France, and then onto Belgium and Germany. We believe that LNG is set to be the truck fuel of the future, taking into account its lower emissions and most, importantly, the cost advantage over gas oil.”
In addition to ensuring availability thanks to its global gas and LNG supply portfolio, Gas Natural Europe also offers competitive prices. Its rates and tariffs are continuously adapted to customers’ needs so that deliveries are not subject to rigid conditions.
“Our flexible and competitive price policy supports our successful expansion in Europe,” sums up Mr. Herrera. “Our ability to provide innovative solutions is another asset that recommends us as a partner to a growing number of clients.”
One of these solutions is a regasification plant capable of transforming LNG to gas at the customers’ premises. Gas Natural Europe invests in the plant and supplies customers with truckloads of LNG to be stored in it and transformed as required – a solution that has allowed Gas Natural Europe access to customers who are far from the gas network and that were stuck with more expensive and polluting fuels such as fuel oil or LPG.
It is this kind of forward thinking that will allow Gas Natural Europe to achieve its ambitious growth targets. Its sights are already set on new national markets on its way to leadership in the European market.