Hoegh LNG and Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd. (MOL) on Thursday confirmed the signing of long-term time charter parties for two Shuttle and Regasification Vessels ("SRV") with Suez LNG Trading SA. These vessels are specifically designed to service an offshore natural gas import terminal to be built in Massachusetts Bay offshore the city of Boston on the US East Coast. The vessels will be delivered in 2009 and 2010.
The Suez-owned Neptune LNG LLC received the final license issued by MARAD for the construction of the terminal on March 23.
"When we ordered the two LNG re-gasification vessels one year ago we said it represented a step into the future for ourselves, our customers and the yard. Now the future is here," said Sveinung Stohle, CEO of Hoegh LNG. "With this commitment to Suez our strategy to expand into floating LNG terminal services is confirmed. This is an important milestone for the continued development of Hoegh LNG into a world class leader in providing innovative floating LNG services to our customers, and we have several similar projects underway that will come to market in the near future."
Mr. T.Hojo, Deputy Chairman at MOL and a long-timer in LNG said: "The execution of time-charters of two SRVs for the Neptune Project has just opened a new page for MOL's LNG transportation business. My appreciation goes to Suez and all other parties who have worked hard to make this happen."
Environmental awareness and safety
The LNG re-gasification vessels and the deepwater port installations can meet the most stringent environmental regulations anywhere in the US for such terminal facilities. By placing the terminal services offshore there is no need for land-based terminals that could affect the local environment. The transportation of LNG by ship has an outstanding track record when it comes to safety.
Hoegh LNG is a pioneer in the LNG shipping industry and currently operates a fleet of six traditional LNG tankers. Based on more than 30 years experience in delivering LNG world-wide, Hoegh LNG has during the past five years focused considerable effort in developing and promoting floating LNG services, such as the SRV system.
Mitsui O.S.K Lines is a worldwide leader in the global ocean transportation and is a pioneer in the safe, reliable transport of LNG. MOL now participates in 58 LNG carriers and will expand its fleet to 80 LNG carriers by 2010. MOL recently announced its new mid-term management plan "MOL ADVANCE", in which it aims at a further expansion of global fleet from 800 vessels to 1,000 by 2009.