Greece’s Dynagas signed a shipbuilding contract last week with Hudong-Zhonghua, a Shanghai-based shipbuilder that is the largest shipbuilding group in China, on the construction of two regasification vessels.
Lloyd’s List Maritime Intelligence said the deal was a double first. It marks China’s first new building contract in the floating storage and regasification unit (FRSU) arena, while Dynagas becomes the first Greek owner of LNG carriers to order anything but plain LNG vessels.
The regasification vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2019 and 2020 and are two-in-one units, capable of mooring offshore to provide regasification but also able to operate as a regular LNG carrier.
While technical details of the deal were not disclosed, Lloyd’s List said the size of the ships was likely in the 170,000-180,000 cubic metre range, while the vessels will be equipped for full open-loop or closed-loop regasification.
The report said the project had been agreed with the shipyard a number of weeks ago but had remained subject to financing, which will have a leasing character. That was clinched with CSSC Leasing, affiliated to the China State Shipbuilding conglomerate, which includes the Hudong yard. However, no financial details have yet emerged.
The price of each vessels was estimated by Lloyd’s List at US$250-300 million each. There may have been a cost impact as a result of the fact that the order was for two ships instead of one.
Dynagas, according to its corporate website, has built more than 100 commercial vessels, including non-LNG carriers. Hudong-Zhonghua, for its part, has built about 10 conventional LNG carriers, with another dozen in its order book.
In December 2015, Dynagas finalised a joint venture with two other major Chinese companies, Sinotrans Shipping and China LNG Shipping, on the ownership and management of five icebreaking LNG carriers, which are being constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea. These will be held under long-term charter to the Yamal LNG project in Russia. Dynagas holds a 49% stake in that fleet.