Poland’s PGNiG to add four newbuild LNG carriers to chartered fleet

Poland’s dominant gas firm PGNiG said it has chartered four more LNG carriers, boosting its fleet of chartered newbuilds to eight vessels.

PGNiG Supply & Trading, a unit of the Polish firm, signed the new chartering deals with Norway’s Knutsen and with Greece’s Maran Gas each for two 174,000-cbm vessels.

The charters are for a period of 10 years, with an option for extension.

According to a statement by PGNiG, the new vessels would enter service in 2025.

PGNiG previously signed charter deals with Knutsen for four LNG carriers scheduled for delivery in 2023 and 2024 to ship its contracted supplies from the US.

In early 2023, the first LNG carrier in this batch, Lech Kaczyński, would begin its first journey, followed by the second vessel, Grażyna Gęsicka, later the same year, PGNiG said.

As under the previous charter contracts, the shipowner would be responsible for the delivery, manning and maintenance of the new LNG vessels as well. PGNiG Supply & Trading will control their commercial operations.

PGNiG did not reveal more information on the four new LNG tankers.

Brokers recently reported that Knutsen had ordered two LNG carriers, backed by a charter with PGNiG, at Hyundai Samho for about $450 million.

On the other side, Maria Angelicoussis-led Maran Gas has placed orders for four LNG carriers at DSME this year.

In addition to these newbuilds, PGNiG has also chartered three already built LNG carriers, each with a capacity of approximately 160,000 cbm, equivalent to about 80–90 million cubic meters of regasified LNG.

Two of these vessels would be delivered to PGNiG by the end of the first half of 2022, while the third one would join the fleet in the second half of the year, it said.

9 bcm of US LNG

“In the PGNiG import portfolio, the volume of contracts for American LNG currently amounts to about 9 billion cubic meters annually after regasification, said Paweł Majewski, president of PGNiG’s management board

“Of this, as much as 7 billion cubic meters will come from contracts concluded in the FOB commercial formula, according to which PGNiG is responsible for the collection of LNG from the supplier, transport and unloading at the destination port,” he said.

“The chartering of methane carriers will allow us not only to efficiently deliver liquefied natural gas to the domestic market, but also to direct the ship to any LNG terminal in the world,” Majewski said.

PGNiG is in charge of all the supplies coming to the Swinoujscie import terminal operated by Gaz-System. The firm also showed interest in Gaz-System’s planned FSRU-based LNG terminal in Gdansk Bay.

Last year, PGNiG finalized a deal to buy more LNG from US exporter Venture Global LNG, amending an original contract concluded back in 2018.

As a result, PGNiG’s contracted volume from Venture Global LNG will increase to 5.5 million mt or 7.4 bcm of gas per year.

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