Two LNG carriers ordered at Hyundai

15 Feb 2012

Shipowner Golar LNG says that its plans for expansion of its activities have moved further forward with two newbuilding contracts for 162,000m3 ships, with fixed priced options for a further two, being placed with Hyundai.

One vessel is scheduled for delivery from the Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries yard in Korea during the third quarter of 2014 and the other during the fourth quarter of 2014. The total cost of the two vessels is slightly above $400 million. As with Golar's existing newbuilding orders, the vessels will be delivered with tri-fuel diesel electric propulsion plant, in order to provide improved fuel efficiency over conventional turbine plant and lower emission levels of pollutants and CO2.

Chairman John Fredriksen says in a comment: "We are excited to see the rapid developments in the LNG market. We clearly see LNG as one of the key parts in the future energy supply chain. The increased flexibility provided by floating production and regas solutions has transformed the LNG industry and made it significantly more competitive versus other energy types. The large global spreads in gas prices, the high growth in trade, and the tight availability of shipping gives this investment a solid foundation."

Golar says that the fact that ship newbuilding prices in general are under some pressure and also that the new tri-fuel engines are significantly cheaper to operate than the previous generation steam turbine ships makes newbuildings attractive. It believes that it is important to get new capacity delivered as early as possible in order to position Golar for the anticipated large LNG volume increases expected to come from Australia and possibly the US in 2015-2016.

In addition to these reported contracts with Hyundai, Golar says it is in final discussions with regards to further increasing its new building investment, which will involve LNG carriers and infrastructure LNG assets. The company says its is uniquely positioned with a total of 13 modern LNG carriers including 2 FSRUs available for trading in the period 2012- 2014, as well as its older vessels. These latest orders confirm Golar's commitment to be the leading independent LNG shipping company.

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