Hoegh secures LNG carrier charter deal

Norwegian FSRU player Hoegh LNG has secured a new charter contract for its 2013-built LNG carrier Hoegh Gandria.

Hoegh revealed the charter deal in its 2023 results report on Wednesday.

“In February 2024, a 5-months LNGC charter was secured for Hoegh Gandria to keep the vessel employed and minimize potential idle time upon redelivery from its current charter towards the end of Q1 2024,” the firm said.

The company did not provide any additional details.

The 160,548-cbm Hoegh Gandria is currently employed on a one-year contract ending in March 2024.

Hoegh bought this LNG carrier last year from CoolCo for about $184.3 million.

It previously said the acquisition of the LNG carrier provides flexibility to pursue FSRU conversion opportunities.

Besides this LNG carrier, Hoegh owns the 2006-built sister vessels, Arctic Princess and Arctic Lady.

Hoegh’s fleet comprises ten FSRUs and the entire fleet is either operating under or committed to long-term contracts.

The average remaining contract length per vessel was 7.8 years at the end of December 2023, Hoegh said in the financial report.

Brazilian terminal expected to start in Q1

Hoegh LNG said in February last year it planned to send its 170,000-cbm FSRU Hoegh Giant in the second quarter to Brazil to start the previously signed contract with a unit of Brazilian energy company Cosan.

After that, the firm said the FSRU started its long-term FSRU contract with TSRP/Compass in Brazil from beginning of the third quarter last year.

“Hoegh Giant is expected to commence commissioning in Santos, Brazil towards the end of Q1 2024,” the company said in the new report on Wednesday.

Back in December 2021, Hoegh concluded the 10-year FSRU charter with Terminal de Regaseificacao de GNL de Sao Paulo (TRSP), a unit of Cosan’s Compass Gas & Energia, to serve the latter’s project in the Port of Santos with a regasification capacity of 14 million cbm/day.

Revenues rise

Hoegh said it had a “significant” growth in revenues in 2023 and reported a total income of $520.9 million for the full year, up from $380.8 million in 2022.

Similarly, Ebitda reached $338.2 million, a “considerable” increase from $153.2 million in the preceding year.

The improved revenues and Ebitda are mainly explained by the new contracts for the fleet which commenced in late 2022 and in 2023, the addition of Hoegh Gandria to the fleet in 2023, and reduced administrative expenses compared to the previous year, the firm said.

The group reported a net profit of $97 million for 2023, a “substantial” improvement compared to the loss of $55.4 million reported in 2022.

This increase in profitability was primarily driven by the higher Ebitda, although it was partly offset by increased depreciation and interest costs largely caused by the addition of the new vessel to the fleet, Hoegh said.

Looking ahead, Hoegh said the demand for FSRUs is expected to “remain strong”.

“While Hoegh LNG has secured long-term contracts for its entire fleet of FSRUs, the business development team is in active dialogue with several potential new projects looking for FSRU capacity,” the company said.

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