Golar targets India for two new-build FSRUs

Vol 15, PW 18 (22 Mar 12) Midstream & Downstream

Golar LNG’s interest in Andhra Pradesh is not surprising.

The Oslo-listed company is targeting India for deployment of two new-build FSRUs under construction in a South Korean shipyard. “There’s genuine interest in India for FSRUs,” reports a source.

“All the traditional LNG buyers like Japan, Taiwan and Korea are less keen. But in new markets like India they want to buy the cheapest LNG.

Not everyone can afford high Qatari (imported LNG) prices.” Golar signed a contract in May last year with Samsung Heavy Industries for the construction of two FSRUs, both with a capacity to regasify 5m t/y, and on-board storage of 170,000 cubic metres each, roughly equivalent to the size of a single storage tank at the Dahej or Hazira onland LNG terminals.

Hull 2031 is on track to sail out of Samsung’s shipyard by October 2013, while Hull 2024 is likely to be ready by early 2014. “India is one of the countries these are being marketed to,” adds a source.

“One or two years ago it was easy to hire a FSRU but today there are very few left. Hull 2031 is the only FSRU on the market today that doesn’t have a firm contract in place for 2013.

” Golar is drawn to India by evidence of continued sharp falls in domestic gas production and an increasing dependence on LNG. Alarming government figures this month reveal domestic gas supply of 42.67m cm/d this year will drop to 27.64m cm/d next year and to 24.23m cm/d the following year, while gas demand for the power sector will hit 102.25m cm/d.

“One of the biggest advantages of a FSRU is that it can be diverted to the major demand centres,” we hear. “India has a huge coast line so a FSRU could move up and down to where it is most needed.