Höegh LNG reports quarterly loss as FSRUs are re-deployed under new contracts and may expand fleet

Thursday, 17 November 2022
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Höegh LNG Holdings, the owner of 10 floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) and two conventional carriers, posted a quarterly loss because of operational issues and ships being out of contract ahead of being re-deployed.

Höegh reported a net third-quarter loss of $45.9 million, which was wider than the $3.14M loss posted in the same three months of 2021.

The Bermuda-based company, now owned by Norwegian interests and US equity funds managed by US bank Morgan Stanley, reported higher third-quarter revenues of  $96.09M versus $86.15M in the same quarter of 2021.

“The fleet delivered a stable operating performance in the third quarter,” said Höegh.

“However, the ‘Höegh Giant’ has been idle since late April following the termination of its FSRU contract and the ‘Höegh Gannet’ was idle for a period towards the end of the third quarter while repositioning to a yard for class renewal and modifications to be carried out in the fourth quarter to prepare the vessel for FSRU operations,” explained the company.

“Furthermore, ‘Neptune’ was out of service for a period in the third quarter for regular class renewal and maintenance,” it added.

Höegh said the following the surge in demand for FSRUs earlier this year, the company has secured long-term FSRU employment for its entire fleet.

Lithuania FSRU

Additionally, the Lithuanian charterer of the vessel “Independence” has declared the purchase option to acquire the FSRU in December 2024.

The FSRU has been in operation at the Baltic port of Klaipeda since October 2014 for a charter cost of around $68 million per annum.

The charterer of the “Independence” is the energy storage company Klaipėdos Nafta.

Höegh said that its main business focus now was to prepare its FSRU fleet for the start-up of the new contracts and to ensure the projects are delivered on time, except for the potential later start of the contract in Australia.

The company added that it had settled the differences of the cancellation of an FSRU deployment on the West Coast of India.

“Following Höegh’s termination of the ‘Höegh Giant’ FSRU contract in India in April, Höegh reached an agreement with the previous charterer (H-Energy) in July dropping all claims and counterclaims against a settlement amount to be paid by Höegh and the ‘Höegh Giant’ thereafter left India,” it explained.

“The vessel was modified and prepared for FSRU operations at a yard during October-November, and will be allocated to one of the group’s new FSRU contracts,” stated Höegh.

The company said that it was also still involved in pending arbitration with the charterer of “PGN FSRU Lampung”, the FSRU deployed in Indonesia.

Outlook

Höegh said in its outlook for the coming year that the company’s main operational focus was to prepare the FSRUs for start-up of their new contracts.

“Looking further ahead, the company will start considering potential growth opportunities including expansions of its FSRU fleet with newbuilds, or the conversion of LNG carriers to FSRUs to meet the increased demand for FSRUs,” it stated.

The group expects that the results for the fourth quarter of 2022 will be impacted by three FSRUs being out of service for modifications.

“The three FSRUs will be without revenue for a period, and costs involved with the modifications may be partly expensed as operating expenses and partly capitalized as investments depending on the nature of the costs incurred,” added Höegh.

The LNG shipping company, one of the sector’s pioneers, completed its own overhaul in 2022 with a merger and is owned by Larus Holding Limited, a 50-50 joint venture between Norway’s Leif Höegh & Co. Ltd. and US equity funds managed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners.

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