Japanese insurers hike LNGC premiums
Japanese non-life insurance companies have raised premiums for LNGCs operating in Russian territorial waters by about 80%. This move was in response to overseas reinsurers, which shoulder part of the insurance benefit payments, increasing their reinsurance premiums amid heightened geopolitical risks, due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. As a result, shipping companies were likely to pass on the higher transportation costs, which could put upward pressure on natural gas prices.
Pakistan LNG cargo halted
Italian energy major Eni’s delivery of an LNG cargo to Pakistan LNG, scheduled for February, was disrupted, due to a declaration of force majeure. Eni has a 15-year agreement to supply Pakistan LNG with one cargo per month from 2017 to 2032. "February LNG delivery disruption is beyond the reasonable control of Eni and due to an event of force majeure. Eni does not benefit in any way from the situation," the company said in a statement to Reuters. "All the previous disruptions in LNG delivery suffered by Eni have been caused by the LNG supplier who didn't fulfil the agreed obligations. Also in these cases, Eni did not take advantage or benefit in any way from these defaults and applied all contractual provisions to manage such disruptions," the company added.
GTA’s FPSO heads for West Africa
bp-operated Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) LNG project’s FPSO sailed from the COSCO shipyard in Qidong, China on 20th January, following sea trials. The unit has been under construction in China for three and a half years and is now on her way to her site about 40 km off the West Africa’s Mauritanian and Senegalese border via Singapore. bp said that the FPSO is a key part of the major integrated GTA project that also includes the development of gas fields and near-shore FLNG facilities. GTA’s first phase is set to produce around 2.3 mill tonnes of LNG per year. The FPSO will process natural gas - removing condensate, water, and other impurities - before exporting it by pipeline to the project’s FLNG facilities, 10 km offshore. With eight processing and production modules, the FPSO will process around 500 mill cu ft of gas per day. Most of the gas will be liquefied by the FLNG, enabling export to international markets, while some will be allocated to help meet growing demand in the two countries. Condensate will be transferred from the FPSO to shuttle tankers for export.
OSM and Thome to join forces
Third party shipmanagement companies and crewing service providers, OSM Maritime Group and Thome Group, are to merge. By joining forces, the companies will be building an even stronger platform on which they will continue to deliver shipmanagement services to their customers and continue to improve. The combined company will be named OSM Thome. Both have LNGC interests in technical shipmanagement and in crewing services. The finalisation of the merger is conditional upon approval from competition authorities, which is anticipated during the first quarter of 2023. Until the merger has been formally approved, the two companies will operate as before, with separate management and organisations. OSM Maritime’s CEO, Finn Amund Norbye, will assume the role as CEO for the merged company, while Thome’s CEO, Olav Nortun, will take up the position of COO for the consolidated shipmanagement activities. OSM founder, Bjørn Tore Larsen will become Chairman of the new Board and Thome’s Claes Eek Thorstensen will take on the role of Vice Chairman.
Ships - newbuildings, deliveries and charters
New LNGC orders are continuing to be announced on a regular basis. Among the latest contracts reported was Samsung Heavy Industries’ Won609.7 bill ($495 mill) order to build two LNGCs for an Oceania interest. These vessels will be delivered by mid-January 2027. Earlier, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) had announced an order for two LNGCs for about just over $250 mill each in a KSOE filing. HSHI aims to deliver the ships to the undisclosed shipowner, thought to be Capital Gas, by November 2026. This order comes just hard on heels of an HHI order to build three 180,000 cu m LNGCs tied to Dynagas, the first LNGC order this year. Elsewhere, MISC has taken delivery of two of its latest series of LNGCs. The 174,000 cu m ‘Seri Damai’ and ‘Seri Daya’ are equipped with sustainable technologies and were built by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI). Upon their delivery, they will enter into a long-term charter to ExxonMobil’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SeaRiver Maritime (SRM) and will be managed by Eaglestar Shipmanagenent. In the charter market, brokers reported the relet fixture of the 160,000 cu m, 2014-built LNGC ‘Cool Runner’. She was said to have been fixed to bp for 12 months at $140,000 per day. Also reported was the charter of the 180,000 cu m Indian controlled FSRU ‘Vasant 1’, which was believed to have been taken by Botas for 12 months at $350,000 per day for operation at Saros Bay. According to AIS, the vessel is already in the Eastern Mediterranean having loaded an LNG cargo at Ikdu. Meanwhile, Maltese law firm, Fenech & Fenech Marine Services, has assisted with the re-flagging of four 174,000 cu m newbuilding LNGs to the Malta flag. These vessels are not only a contribution to the Malta flag in terms of tonnage but also a clear reflection of clients’ confidence in the flag’s technical capabilities with respect to such sophisticated vessels, the company said, without naming them. In addition, Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ finance team also assisted with the financing aspect of this transaction.