More LNGC newbuildings in the pipeline
ExxonMobil was believed to have reserved up to 14 LNGC slots at Samsung. According to a report in TradeWinds, the energy major has followed Shell’s example, as it gears up to cover new cargo needs. At the smaller end of the scale, probunkers has agreed terms with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) to build two firm 7,600 cu m LNG bunker vessels. The Greek company has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the South Korean yard. “Having reached an initial agreement with HMD is a major milestone in our project that underlines our aim towards quality and reliability, cornerstones in probunkers’ philosophy, while at the same time demonstrates the confidence of all stakeholders in the success of our plan and the importance of it,” probunkers’ CEO, Alexander Prokopakis commented.
Second Yamal LNG project ship named
Mitsui OSK Lines,(MOL) held a naming ceremony for a second LNGC on 8th January this year. Jointly ordered by MOL and China COSCO Shipping Corp, the ceremony was held at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co, Ltd’s shipyard. ‘LNG Merak’ is the second of four 174,000 cu m newbuilding LNGCs for the Yamal LNG project and a sistership of the ‘LNG Dubhe’, which was delivered at the end of last October from the same shipyard. ‘LNG Merak’ will transport Yamal’s LNG from transhipment terminals in Europe to Asian terminals. MOL currently operates 11 LNGCs built in China for other projects, and ‘LNG Merak’ will be the 12th LNGC Chinese built LNGC to join the fleet.
Qatargas delivers first Q-Flex cargo to Summit
Qatargas recently delivered the first Q-Flex LNG cargo to the ‘SUMMIT LNG’ FSRU located offshore Bangladesh. The cargo, on board Qatargas-chartered ‘Al Safliya’, was loaded at Ras Laffan on 27th December, 2019 and delivered to the FSRU on 14th January, 2020. This is the first commercial open water ship-to-ship (STS) transfer involving a Q-Flex vessel delivering to Petrobangla at the Summit LNG terminal (SLNG). SLNG is a project jointly developed by Excelerate Energy and the Bangladesh Oil, Gas & Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) on a build, own and operate basis. The FSRU ‘SUMMIT LNG’ is under a 15-year charter to Petrobangla and carried the inaugural LNG cargo from Qatar in April, 2018.
Murgados moves up to third spot
The Ferrol-based Mugardos LNG terminal is now the third most used in Spain in relative terms, overtaking Barcelona. Owned and operated by Reganosa, last year, the terminal received 20 LNGCs for discharge, compared to 13 in 2018 and 12 in 2017. A total of 2.2 mill cu m of LNG was unloaded. In addition, four cooling down, gassing up and loading operations were carried out at Ferrol. The rise in the number of LNGCs was reflected in the increase in regasification work. From January to December, the facility accounted for 20.7% more energy to the network than in the previous 12 months. During the past year it worked at an average of 32% of its maximum capacity (with specific peaks of 100% of its maximum capacity). This average was below that recorded at Bilbao (76%) and Huelva (38%), and above those measured in Barcelona (30%), Sagunto (22%) and Cartagena (13%).
GTT ends 2019 on a high
At the end of December, 2019, GTT received eight orders from Korean shipyards Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI). Each of the eight LNGCs will have a capacity of 174,000 cu m and will be fitted with the Mark III Flex technology. Four will be built by HHI: two on behalf of an Asian shipowner and two for a European shipowner. The others four LNGCs will be built by HSHI for another European shipowner. All of the vessel deliveries are expected during the second half of 2022. Philippe Berterottière, GTT Chairman and CEO, said: “These eight last orders confirm the dynamism of the market observed throughout this year. This brings the number of LNGC orders obtained in 2019 to 57, which is a record year for GTT and illustrates the partnership of excellence that we have with the shipyards of the Hyundai Group.” These are probably for the LNGCs ordered on the back of Shell charters - Ed.
New Alaskan export facility planned
Start up company, AlaskCAN LNG, plans to build a $12 bill liquefaction/export facility in Alaska, close to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, according to a report by Alaska Public Media. The company is thought to be looking at sites where gas could be processed on a floating platform attached to a small island to produce up to 12 mill tonnes per year of LNG for export to Asia. Such a plant could begin operations in 2027 or 2028, the company was reported as saying.
Flex LNG wins timecharter extension
Flex LNG has extended the timecharter of the ’Flex Enterprise’. As a result, the charter is now due to expire during 1Q21. However, the charterer has further extension options remaining. The timecharter rate is variable as a function of the overall market conditions, the company said. Øystein Kalleklev, Flex LNG Management CEO, commented: “We are happy to announce another timecharter extension, this time for ‘Flex Enterprise’.”
CMES to take equity in Yamal LNGCs
China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) is to acquire the equity from several companies under the Sinotrans Shipping banner as part of a consolidation of its shipping assets. As a result, CMES will purchase LNGCs and drybulk carriers from China Merchants Sinotrans Shipping for RMB6.57 bill. The acquisition will be funded by internal capital and overseas loans, the company said. The deal includes a 25.5% equity interest in five Yamal LNGCs.