Golar: Croatian FSRU set to depart China late September

Croatia’s first FSRU will leave the Hudong-Zhonghua yard in China to its base on the island of Krk in the northern Adriatic Sea late September, according to the vessel owner Golar LNG.

Golar, led by Norwegian businessman Tor Olav Troim, won a deal last year to provide its 2005-built 140,205-cbm vessel Golar Viking to the Krk project and convert it to a FSRU.

Later the same year, the LNG shipper agreed a $160 million sale and leasback deal for the vessel with the financial leasing unit of China State Shipbuilding Corporation. Hudong is also a CSSC unit.

The ship arrived at the Huarun-Dadong yard near Shanghai, where Hudong is a shareholder, in January for the conversion works expected to take at least six months.

However, this project also faced difficulties related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that continues to disrupt the entire industry.

“The project team and contractors are working hard to mitigate any Covid-related challenges,” Golar’s chief executive Iain Ross said during the company’s call discussing second-quarter results.

“We are now planning for the vessel to depart from China to Europe late September, with vessel delivery upon commissioning and completion by the year-end according to the original plan,” he said.

Croatia to become LNG importing nation

LNG Croatia, the state-owned Krk terminal developer, plans to officially launch the long-awaited facility on January 1, 2021.

With this launch, Croatia will join the growing number of worldwide LNG importing nations.

The Krk terminal will send up to 2.6 bcm per year of natural gas into the country’s grid.

It includes the FSRU connected to a jetty and additional facilities, and the connecting high-pressure gas pipeline.

LNG Croatia previously said it would complete onshore works by November, just in time when the FSRU arrives.

Furthermore, the terminal developer also revealed that all of terminal’s capacities have been booked for the next three years.

The capacity takers include Hungary’s state-owned MFGK and trading firm MET.

Qatar’s PowerGlobe, the energy arm of privately-held Optimized Holding, booked the largest capacity spanning a period of 15 years.

Croatian first LNG import project costs 233.6 million euros ($276.6 million). EU is providing 101.4 million euros from the Connecting Europe Facility.

The project will also receive 100 million euros from the state budget and 32.2 million euros from shareholders equity contribution.

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