Dynagas LNG Partners eyes FSRU conversions as Europe boosts LNG imports

Dynagas LNG Partners could look into converting its LNG carriers into FSRUs as Europe looks for fast-track import solutions in order to reduce dependence on Russian gas.

The limited partnership formed by Greek shipowner Dynagas currently has six LNG carriers built between 2007 and 2013.

Gazprom has chartered three vessels, Novatek’s Yamal LNG two, and Norway’s Equinor one.

Equinor’s charter for the 2013-built, 155,000-cbm Arctic Aurora will end in the third quarter of 2023. The 2007-built Clean Energy, chartered by Gazprom, will follow in 2026.

FSRU conversion drawings ready

Due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Europe is looking to reduce its reliance on Russian gas and boost LNG imports. Several countries are planning to install FSRUs in order to diversify gas sources as soon as possible.

“There is definitely more interest in the FSRU space, and in particular, around the European continent,” Tony Lauritzen, chief executive of chief executive Dynagas LNG Partners, told analysts during the company’s fourth-quarter conference call on Friday.

Parent Dynagas already has two newbuild FSRUs in its fleet, namely the 174,000-cbm Transgas Force and Transgas Power. However, both of these units are serving as LNG carriers until the next year.

Lauritzen said that Dynagas LNG could consider buying these vessels from the sponsor. However, he doesn’t think that would be a “very easy discussion.”

“Now when it comes to converting some of the units that we have coming off charter in the future, that is definitely something we could look at,” he said.

“For example, for some of the designs we have the conversion drawings ready, so that is probably something that is more realistic,” Lauritzen said.

Newbuild on the horizon?

Lauritzen also hinted that the company could place an order for a new LNG carrier.

“When it comes to fleet growth, we are getting closer, we believe, to a point where we will do something,” he said.

“So if that means buying a sponsor vessel, or if that means buying a second hand vessel, or if that means ordering a newbuild – that is yet to be seen,” he said.

“And if we were to order a newbuild, it is most likely that it would have to be covered by a long-term contract,” he said.

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