Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), through its wholly-owned subsidiary Keppel Singmarine, has secured a contract worth a total of S$103 million (approx. USD 75m) to build two dual-fuel 7,500 cbm liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers for Stolt-Nielsen Gas B.V. (SNG), a subsidiary of Stolt-Nielsen Limited.
The contract includes options to purchase three additional similar vessels. SNG has 6, 12 and 18 months from the effective date of the contract to exercise the options respectively.
The ships are to be built at Keppel Singmarine’s shipyard in Nantong, China, with deliveries scheduled in the second and third quarter of 2019 respectively. They will each come equipped with dual-fuel engines that can run on both diesel and LNG, and with a class notation and technical capability for STS (ship-to-ship) bunkering, thus significantly enhancing their versatility.
Mr Abu Bakar, Managing Director of Keppel Singmarine, said, “This order extends our track record in providing solutions along the LNG value chain, which includes two dual-fuel harbour tugs that we are currently building. We are able to leverage our shipyard’s capabilities and innovative LNG research and development to meet our customer’s needs.”
The Keppel Singmarine-designed tugs have a bollard pull capacity of 65-tonne, can run on both LNG and diesel fuel, and earned the company the Outstanding Maritime R&D and Technology Award from Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). They are expected to use bunkering services provided by the Keppel-Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) joint venture company, FueLNG Ltd (FueLNG).
Stolt-Nielsen Gas has established a wholly owned subsidiary, Avenir LNG Limited, to focus mainly on the development of small-scale LNG supply chains serving “stranded demand,” where off-the-grid customers lack access to natural gas. SNG’s current projects include plans to build and operate an LNG terminal and distribution facility in the port of Oristano, Sardinia, and a venture to provide LNG to areas of Scotland not served by the existing natural-gas grid. The newbuildings would be deployed, at least in part, in the supply chains serving these projects.
Keppel O&M concurs about increasing opportunity, acknowledging the growing demand for small-scale LNG carriers especially for end users located in remote areas not served by pipelines. Tighter regulation on emissions continues to encourage growth in small-scale LNG projects which are economical and quick to market.
SNG 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.
(Source: Keppel Offshore & Marine and Stolt-Nielsen Limited; Image courtesy of Keppel O&M)