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Stolt-Nielsen, Golar and Höegh target small-scale LNG and bunkering

Stolt-Nielsen, Golar LNG and Höegh LNG are investing $182m in Avenir LNG to develop small-scale LNG distribution and LNG bunkering.

Avenir LNG was a company formed by Stolt-Nielsen in 2017 to distribute LNG to markets without pipeline connections. The investment by the three companies will be made through cash and equity-in-kind and will fund the construction of six small-scale LNG carriers, and a small-scale terminal and regasification facilities.

Stolt-Nielsen will be consolidating all its LNG activities in Avenir LNG including four 7,500 cu m LNG carriers order at Keppel Singamarine’s yard in Nantong, China, and a joint-venture LNG terminal and distribution facility to be constructed in the port of Oristano, Sardinia. Avenir LNG also plans to order two further small-scale LNG carrier newbuildings.

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Stolt-Nielsen will have 50% stake in Avenir LNG while Golar LNG and Höegh LNG will hold 25% each.

As well as small-scale LNG distribution the joint venture is looking to LNG bunkering utilising the same small-scale LNG vessels. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, ceo of Stolt-Nielsen Limited “With the implementation of the IMO's 2020 emissions regulations approaching, demand for LNG as a cleaner, low-sulphur marine fuel is increasing. Each of the LNG newbuildings is designed to perform safe and efficient ship-to-ship LNG bunkering, which Avenir LNG plans to introduce at key strategic ports."

Read more: LNG only 'viable option' today to tackle shipping's air quality issues

Höegh LNG president and ceo Sveinung J.S. Støhle commented: “Due to the size and location of our FSRU fleet, Höegh LNG has for some time seen small-scale LNG services as an attractive complement to our core offering of full-scale FSRUs.

“The investment provides Höegh LNG with an opportunity to enter the segment through a venture that is at an advanced stage of development. It represents a highly attractive opportunity for growth and has direct synergies with our core full-scale FSRU business through the incremental LNG demand it is expected to deliver,” he added.

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