Hoegh LNG preparing FSRUs for German jobs

Floating LNG player Hoegh LNG Holdings is working to prepare its floating storage and regasification units for the upcoming long-term charters in Germany.

Hoegh LNG has five FSRUs in its fleet, namely Independence, Hoegh Giant, Hoegh Esperanza, Hoegh Gannet, Hoegh Galleon, and two LNG carriers.

The firm also recently completed the purchase of New York-listed Hoegh LNG Partners that owns a fleet of five FSRUs as well.

Following the surge in demand for FSRUs earlier this year, Hoegh LNG has secured long-term FSRU employment for its entire fleet.

“Consequently, Hoegh LNG’s main focus is to prepare the FSRUs for start-up of the new contracts and ensure the projects are delivered on time to our customers over the next 3-6 months, except for the potential later start of the contract in Australia,” Hoegh LNG said in its third-quarter report on Thursday.

German projects

Earlier this year, Hoegh LNG signed a long-term charter deal with Germany to charter two FSRUs as the European country looks to boost energy security and ditch Russian pipeline gas.

The firm did not name the FSRUs which it would allocate for the projects in Germany but the Uniper-led Wilhelmshaven LNG facility would feature Hoegh’s 2018-built 170,000-cbm, FSRU Esperanza.

This unit is currently in Damen’s yard in Brest, France, according to its AIS data provided by VesselsValue.

Niedersachsen Ports (NPorts) recently confirmed the completion of the jetty in Wilhelmshaven, the country’s first LNG jetty. The firm expects Hoegh’s FSRU to arrive in mid-December.

This facility and RWE’s Elbhafen LNG terminal in Brunsbuettel would become the country’s first floating LNG import terminals, and would be joined by three other facilities next year.

Germany is financing the charters of in total five FSRUs. These include the two units RWE chartered from Hoegh LNG, the two Dynagas units chartered to Uniper, and Excelerate’s FSRU chartered by Engie, TES, and E.ON.

Besides these government-backed units, Deutsche ReGas is also working on the first private German FSRU-based facility in Lubmin and expects to launch it in December this year.

Giant and Gannet

In April, Hoegh LNG terminated the charter deal with H-Energy for the 170,000-cbm FSRU Hoegh Giant following “the charterer’s default of the contractual terms.”

After that, the two firms agreed a deal and the FSRU left India.

“The vessel was modified and prepared for FSRU operations at a yard during October/November, and will be allocated to one of the group’s new FSRU contracts,” Hoegh LNG said in the quarterly report.

Its AIS data shows that the vessel left Damen’s yard in Brest this week.

Hoegh LNG’s 170,000-cbm FSRU Hoegh Gannet is also at the same yard, the data shows.

“Hoegh Gannet was idle for a period towards the end of third quarter while repositioning to yard for class renewal and modifications to be carried out in the fourth quarter to prepare the vessel for FSRU operations,” Hoegh LNG said in the report.

The firm previously signed a charter deal with Brazilian energy company Cosan for this FSRU.

Besides this charter and the German projects, Hoegh LNG and Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) confirmed in June a long-term FSRU charter deal for its Port Kembla import terminal in New South Wales.

The Australian firm previously picked the 170,000-cbm Hoegh Galleon to serve the facility at Port Kembla.

Net loss

The FSRU player reported a net loss after taxes of $45.9 million in the third-quarter, down from a net loss after tax of $7.5 million in the preceding quarter.

Hoegh LNG and its units reported a total income of $96.1 million and an Ebitda of $0.1 million for the quarter, compared to $86.9 million and $46.8 million for the preceding quarter.

The decrease in Ebitda is to a large extent related to lost revenues and costs incurred to ready three FSRUs for long-term FSRU contracts, the firm said.

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