France’s GTT booked record 88 LNG carrier orders in first half

French LNG containment giant GTT said it has received record 88 orders for liquefied natural gas carriers as well as contracts to equip 38 LNG-powered vessels during the first half of this year.

The first-half orders doubled compared to 43 orders in the first half of the last year and already exceeded the 68 orders for the entire 2021.

Also, the new LNG carriers will be built by South Korean yards and Chinese yards with delivery dates spanning from the third quarter of 2024 and the second quarter of 2027.

GTT also noted that orders for projects in Qatar, as part of QatarEnergy’s giant shipbuidling program, amounted to 24 vessels in the first half of the year.

In the first half, GTT received record number of orders to equip 38 LNG-powered vessels, confirming its progress in this segment after a record last year with 27 orders.

Various Chinese and Korean shipyards will build these ships and deliver them between the first quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2026.

Large order book

As of June 30, 2022, GTT’s order book excluding LNG as fuel stood at 229 units. This includes 210 LNG carriers, 2 ethane carriers, 2 FSUs, 3 GBSs, and 12 onshore storage tanks, the firm said on Thursday.

With regard to LNG as fuel, the order book stood at 68 units as of June 30, 2022. These are all containerships.

Moreover, the LNG tank giant reported a 12.7 percent drop in revenues to 144.4 million euros ($146.8 million) compared with the first half of 2021.

“Revenues for the first half of 2022 were, as expected, lower than for the first half of 2021,” GTT’s CEO Philippe Berterottière, said.

“This decline is attributable to a base effect, as the first half of 2021 still benefitted from the excellent momentum experienced in 2020, whereas the first half of 2022 didn’t get the full impact of the high order intake in 2021 and 2022,” he said.

Shipbuilding delays

As regards 2022 targets, in the second quarter the group noted “some delays” in shipbuilding schedules, resulting in a postponement of revenue recognition.

“These delays have various reasons: supply difficulties related to sanctions, lockdowns and social movements in Asia. Given these delays, we are confirming our annual targets, but we now expect to be in the lower half of the range announced in February,” Berterottière, said.

GTT expects consolidated revenues between 290 million and 320 million euros.

Looking further ahead, GTT expects to benefit from the “current robust order momentum” and expects to achieve “significantly higher” revenues and earnings from 2023 onwards versus 2022.

Russia exposure

GTT said in March that the execution of certain contracts, related to Novatek’s projects in the Arctic, was at risk due to the Russia-Ukraine war and sanctions.

In Russia, the company is involved in the design of 3 GBSs as part of the Novatek-operated Arctic LNG 2 project, as well as in the design of tanks for 15 ice-breaking LNG carriers currently under construction at Zvezda.

Other orders in progress in Asian shipyards and specifically dedicated to Russian Arctic projects include 6 ice-breaker LNG carriers and 2 FSUs.

Lastly, Asian shipyards are currently building 8 conventional LNG carriers for international owners, which would serve Arctic LNG 2 projects but are also able to operate in all types of conditions.

Berterottière said work on projects in which the group is involved in Russia “is continuing in compliance with the applicable sanction regimes.”

“However, given the increasing impact of international sanctions on LNG liquefaction projects in Russia, the continuation and proper execution of these contracts are exposed to risks of postponement or cancellation,” he said.

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