Hoegh LNG’s FSRUs to start work in Brazil and France

FSRU owner Hoegh LNG Holdings said on Wednesday that its near-term focus is to ensure its FSRU projects start operations as planned by its customers in France and Brazil over the coming months.

The group’s fleet comprises ten FSRUs and three LNG carriers.

Hoegh LNG said in its second-quarter results report that the entire fleet is either operating under or committed to long-term contracts with “strong” counterparties, except for the recently acquired Hoegh Gandria which is currently employed on a one-year LNG carrier trading contract.

Besides projects in France and Brazil, Hoegh LNG also said that its 170,000-cbm FSRU Hoegh Gannet, which serves the Elbehafen LNG import terminal, is “currently performing its commissioning work in Germany before entering regular commercial regas operations.”

“The vessel remains operational and earns hire from its charterer while this work is ongoing,” the firm said.

German energy firm RWE, which developed the Elbehafen LNG project with Hoegh LNG, Brunsbüttel Ports, and other partners on behalf of the German government, said in May that the FSRU-based terminal started commercial operations.

After that, Lithuanian LNG terminal operator KN became the commercial operator of the Elbehafen LNG terminal in northern Germany.

In addition to this project, Hoegh LNG is planning to start the contract with Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) in Australia towards the end of this year.

Last year, Hoegh LNG and AIE, a unit of Squadron Energy, confirmed a long-term FSRU charter deal for the latter’s Port Kembla import terminal in New South Wales.

The 2019-built Hoegh Galleon will serve this contract and it is currently employed on a time charter contract in the LNG carrier market which is scheduled to end in September, Hoegh LNG said.

Brazilian terminal expected to start by end of this year

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

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.

Hoegh Giant finalized its interim LNG carrier time charter party by the end of the first quarter and was idle during most of the second quarter, according to Hoegh LNG.

“The FSRU commenced its long-term FSRU contract with TSRP/Compass in Brazil from beginning of the third quarter,” Hoegh LNG said, without providing any further information.

According to Kosan’s recent second-quarter results report, the terminal is nearing completion, with operations expected to start by the end of 2023.

Hoegh Giant’s AIS data, provided by VesselsValue, showed on Thursday that the unit was located off San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic.

Le Havre FSRU

The 2010-built 145,130-cbm FSRU Cape Ann, chartered by France’s TotalEnergies, is ready to start serving the FSRU-based facility in France’s Le Havre later this year.

France’s TotalEnergies charters this vessel from Hoegh LNG, which has a 50 percent stake in Cape Ann, Japan’s MOL, which owns a 48.5 percent stake, and Tokyo LNG Tanker holds the rest.

As previously reported, the FSRU departed China’s Tianijn LNG import terminal in the northern port city Tianjin near Beijing on March 30.

The vessel then sailed to a yard in Singapore for modification work ahead of its job in France.

“Cape Ann, which is employed on a long-term charter with TotalEnergies, has left the yard after completing modifications and class renewal and is currently being repositioned for FSRU operations in France later this year,” Hoegh LNG said in the report.

Cape Ann’s AIS data shows that the FSRU was located in Algeciras, Spain on Thursday.

TotalEnergies launched in March a binding open season for capacities at the FSRU-based facility in Le Havre and said that it expects to start operations in September.

LNG Prime contacted TotalEnergies to provide an update regarding the arrival of the FSRU in Le Havre and the start operations, but we did not receive a reply by the time this article was published.

New FSRU projects

Hoegh LNG said that 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 firm said.

The acquisition of the LNG carrier Hoegh Gandria earlier this year provides flexibility to pursue FSRU conversion opportunities, Hoegh LNG noted.

The group reported a total income of $126.8 million and an Ebitda of $78.7 million for the second quarter of 2023, compared to $137.4 million and $91.9 million for the preceding quarter.

“The group expects that the Ebitda for the third quarter of 2023 will be somewhat higher than for the second quarter mainly due to Hoegh Giant and Hoegh Gandria being fully employed in the third quarter,” it said.

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