Knutsen, Orlen name two LNG carriers in South Korea

Norway’s Knutsen and Poland’s Orlen named two newbuild liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers in South Korea.

The delivery ceremony for the 174,000-cbm Saint Barbara and Ignacy Lukasiewicz took place at Hyundai Samho’s yard in Mokpo on Thursday, according to a statement by Orlen.

Orlen said it expects these two LNG carriers to enter service by the end of this year, boosting the group’s capacity for natural gas procurement and thus enhancing Poland’s energy security.

Once integrated into the fleet, the LNG carriers will serve the dual purpose of accommodating both long-term contracts and spot contracts, based on the free-on-board (FOB) delivery terms, it said.

Back in 2021, PGNiG, now part of Orlen, signed a charter deal for these carriers with Knutsen to ship its contracted US LNG supplies to Poland for a period of 10 years.

South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries has this year already delivered two LNG carriers to Knutsen that are serving Orlen under charter deals.

The LNG carriers are Lech Kaczynski and Grazyna Gesicka.

These vessels delivered their inaugural LNG shipments to Poland in March and June, respectively.

Besides these four newbuilds, Orlen’s PGNiG also took on charter two more newbuild LNG carriers from Knutsen and two from Greece’s Maran Gas for a total of eight and scheduled for delivery by 2025.

Polish LNG imports grow

Orlen recently received the 250th cargo of LNG at the Swinoujscie terminal in Poland since the start of operations in 2016.

The firm completed in November 2022 its merger with Poland’s dominant gas firm, PGNiG, which is in charge for all of the LNG supplies coming to the Swinoujscie facility operated by Gaz-System.

To date, the facility seen the arrival of 254 deliveries, totaling some 20 million tonnes of LNG, Orlen said on Thursday.

The majority of these cargoes came from Qatar (127) and the United States (106), with supplementary contributions from Norway (13), Nigeria (3), Trinidad and Tobago (3), Egypt (1), and Equatorial Guinea (1), it said.

In addition to the Swinoujscie terminal, Orlen recently booked 6.1 bcm per year of regasification capacity at Gaz-System’s planned FSRU-based LNG import facility in Gdansk.

The infrastructure development is expected to boost the annual count of LNG deliveries received by Orlen by up to 58, the firm said.

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