Stolt-Nielsen Gas (SNG) has ordered two dual-fuel, 7,500m³ LNG carriers from Keppel Singmarine with options to purchase three additional ships of a similar size.
Norway's Stolt-Nielsen group is a family firm led by Niels Stolt-Nielsen, pictured. The order at Keppel brings the chemical shipping specialist into LNG for the very first time. At year-end 2016, there were just 21 small-scale LNG carriers on the water and on order, according to research LNG World Shipping commissioned from VesselsValue.
The Stolt-Nielsen subsidiary says the contract for the initial two ships is worth some US$80million, including site-team costs and capitalised interest during construction. Keppel Singmarine will build the vessels at its shipyard in Nantong, China, for delivery in the second and third quarters of 2019.
The diesel/LNG-fuelled ships will have a class notation and technical capability for ship-to-ship (STS) bunkering, enhancing their versatility.
SNG has established a wholly owned subsidiary, Avenir LNG, to develop small-scale LNG supply chains serving “stranded demand,” where off-the-grid customers lack access to natural gas.
SNG plans to build and operate an LNG terminal and distribution facility in the port of Oristano, Sardinia. A second venture aims to provide LNG to areas of Scotland not served by the existing natural-gas grid. The newbuildings will be deployed, at least in part, in the supply chains serving these projects.
SNG said in a statement that it “has negotiated a heads of agreement with an oil major with the intention to charter the first ship for trading in the Mediterranean. The second ship is expected to trade in northern Europe”.
Stolt-Nielsen president gas Andrew Pickering spoke exclusively to LNG World Shipping