Interview: Maria Angelicoussis and Sveinung Stohle talk LNG fleet expansion plans

Greek shipping giant Angelicoussis has secured long-term charters for almost all of the newbuild LNG carriers it has ordered in South Korea while the group also evaluates further opportunities to expand its large LNG fleet, according to CEO, Maria Angelicoussis, and deputy CEO, Sveinung Stohle.

Maria Angelicoussis and Sveinung Stohle told this to LNG Prime on Wednesday at the sidelines of DMG’s 23rd World LNG Summit & Awards currently taking place in Athens.

Stohle joined Angelicoussis from Hoegh LNG back in 2021 after 15 years at the helm of the Norwegian FSRU player.

Maran Gas, a unit of Angelicoussis, currently has 45 LNG carriers in operation.

Stohle said that the group currently has 12 LNG carriers on order in South Korea and the company will take delivery of these vessels from 2024 to 2027.

The firm ordered in total 11 LNG carriers at South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, now Hanwha Ocean, since November 2021.

This also includes the two LNG carriers it ordered at Hanwha Ocean in March this year.

Besides LNG carriers, Maran Tankers Management, the oil tanker unit of Angelicoussis, ordered 8 LNG-powered Suezmax tankers from China’s New Times.

Stohle said that Angelicoussis secured long-term charters for all of the newbuild LNG carriers except the last two vessels delivering in 2027.

Asked about fleet expansion, Stohle said that the decision to book more LNG carriers “depends on the market.”

“We follow the market every day and we will see whether we will place orders for new vessels,” he said.

According to Stohle, there are currently about 630 large LNG carriers on the water around the globe and about three hundred vessels have been ordered at yards in South Korea and China.

He expects that the global fleet of large LNG carriers would probably reach 1000 vessels by the end of this decade.

Maria Angelicoussis said later on Wednesday during a panel on LNG shipping that the group prefers Korean yards to order LNG newbuilds “but we understand capacity constraints in Korea.”

“We were in China last month, and had a tour of the shipbuilding yards, especially these new yards that are building up their LNG capacity,” she said.

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