Seapeak trials Starlink on LNG carrier

Seapeak, previously known as Teekay LNG Partners, is trialing Starlink satellite internet services on board its vessels, including the 1993-built LNG carrier Seapeak Polar.

Starlink, a division of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, has the largest constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites delivering high-speed, low-latency satellite broadband internet.

The service was recently expanded to include a maritime offering, initially in coastal areas but would be providing full worldwide coverage during the first half of 2023, Seapeak said in a social media post.

According to Seapeak, its 87,305-cbm LNG carrier Seapeak Polar had Starlink installed in November 2022 as a proof-of-concept trial and the initial results “have been very promising.”

“Starlink is capable of providing speeds which are 50-100 times faster than traditional satellite connectivity as well as having a latency which is 15-30 times lower, providing a connection on board which is akin to a shore internet connection in terms of capability,” Seapeak said.

“Having such a connection enables functionality like high-quality video conferencing, video streaming and better utilization of cloud services as well as improving the experience of all existing internet-based activities,” it said.

Seapeak said that a further four vessels are currently in the planning stages to have a full next-generation communication system installed on board in the next few months which would also incorporate the Starlink service.

Subject to continued positive trial results, a fleet wide rollout would follow in 2023, the firm said.

Seapeak’s large fleet

Seapeak recently completed the previously announced deal to buy Evergas for about $700 million.

Denmark-based Evergas owns and operates two very large ethane carriers and eight multigas/LNG carriers. All of these vessels are on fixed-rate charters to Ineos and are capable of burning gas as fuel.

Besides these ships, Evergas also controls six LPG carriers under leases ending in 2024.

Teekay LNG Partners rebranded as Seapeak last year year following the completion of its $6.2 billion merger deal with private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners.

The shipping firm has interests in 51 LNG carriers and is one of the world’s largest operators of such vessels. It also operates 20 midsize LPG carriers and six multigas carriers and has a 30 percent interest in an LNG regasification terminal.

Seapeak ordered five 174,000-cbm LNG carriers in November at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries for charter to US energy giant ExxonMobil.

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