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Live from Posidonia

Owners upbeat on prospects for LNG shipping turnaround

Owners upbeat on prospects for LNG shipping turnaround
After two years in the doldrums when LNG freight rates plunged to a fraction of the highs seen in 2011, owners are confident that as delayed projects come onstream it will boost demand.

“I’m quite positive on LNG right now as it’s been two years into the downcycle,” Christos Economou, founder & ceo of TMS Cardiff Gas, said at the Capital Link Shipping Forum, part of the of the Posidonia conference programme.

One of the issues that the LNG shipping sector has faced over the last few years is that while the fleet has continued to grow with newbuildings, a number of which were speculative, supply of gas remained largely flat as major projects have faced delays.

“We’ve been in state where we’ve seen world production of LNG very static over the last three years,” said Tony Lauritzen, ceo of Dynagas LNG Partners. However, this year he said the market was seeing incremental LNG produced and projects ramping up. Lauritzen expects production to be much greater in 2017 than this year and that 2018 will be a very good year.

Also looking to the production side Stavros Hatzigrigoris, md of Maran Gas Maritime, said he could not believe that $70 - $80bn supply projects, such as those in Australia, would stay idle the increased volumes would be in the market.

Meanwhile Economou pointed to increased demand in Europe and China, with the company seeing the latter adding 50m tonnes to the regasification market. He said that volumes would flow, but it was a case of how fast new projects could ramp up production.