With the backing of three shipping and LNG industry stalwarts, a relative newcomer has quickly established itself in the LNG business
When it comes to small-scale LNG and LNG bunkering, Avenir LNG has some major ambitions.
Those ambitions received a major boost in October when Avenir LNG took delivery of Avenir Advantage, Southeast Asia’s first and the company’s first of six LNG bunkering and supply vessels.
The week of 26 October, Avenir Advantage officially commenced its three-year charter to Petronas LNG Sdn Bhd, supplying LNG to fuel ships operating in Malaysia and delivering cargoes directly to small-scale customers in the region.
Avenir LNG chief executive Milorad Doljanin is confident there will be a number of opportunities that will emerge for small-scale LNG as the world transitions to a lower carbon-intensive energy mix. He sees opportunities to help transition customers who are currently burning heavy fuel oil, diesel or coal for power generation, allowing them access to cleaner-burning and cost-efficient LNG. “The LNG production facilities are there and the gas is there, so LNG will undoubtedly play a significant role in the transition to a lower carbon world” he says.
He sees similar opportunities for supplying LNG fuel for power generation, industry and heavy vehicles. “Avenir LNG was established to be a supplier of LNG to the market. Our shipping-focused asset base is the key enabler of our strategy, with growth coming through the development of infrastructure and supply contracts which will enable us to deliver LNG to those energy users who are not able to access the gas market today,” he says.
Avenir LNG’s fleet of newbuild LNGBVs has been built to provide reliable, low-cost and flexible supply solutions. Built by Keppel Offshore & Marine’s Nantong Shipyard, Jiangsu Province, China, the Malaysian-flagged Avenir Advantage is the first of two dual-fuel (MGO and LNG) vessels ordered from the shipbuilder. Avenir Advantage and its sister, Avenir Accolade, will each have a length overall of 123.44 m, beam of 18.6 m and draught of 5.65 m, with two IMO Type C tanks with a total cargo capacity of 7,500 m3. Propulsion will be supplied by a single screw, with power delivered by a Wärtsilä 6L34DF main engine, rated at 2,700 kW at 750 rpm.
“Our shipping-focused asset base is the key enabler of our strategy”
As for the remaining vessels in Avenir LNG’s shipbuilding programme, Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering Co Ltd has been contracted to construct two 7,500-m3 LNG bunkering and supply vessels, and two larger small-scale carriers, each with a capacity of 20,000 m3. The two larger LNG bunkering and supply vessels will each have a length overall of 159.9 m, a beam of 24 m and draught of 8.2 m, with propulsion power supplied by a WinGD 5RTFlex50DF engine, rated at 7,200 kW at 124 rpm. All the vessels are being built to DNV GL class, with deliveries stretching into Q4 2021.
Formed in 2018, Avenir LNG’s shareholders are an impressive triumvirate consisting of chemical and parcel tanker owner and bulk terminal operator Stolt-Nielsen Limited, and two leading LNG transport and floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) technology and infrastructure companies, Höegh LNG and Golar LNG.
Avenir LNG is working with shareholder Golar LNG in expanding break-bulk LNG supply in Brazil, utilising a ship-to-truck LNG distribution solution. Plans call for the charter of Avenir Accolade to load LNG from Golar Nanook for delivery to various ports across Brazil, while also being available for ship-to-ship (STS) bunkering operations.
Avenir LNG is also working with the charterers of Höegh Grace in Cartagena, Colombia regarding the supply of LNG for distribution to the Caribbean markets or as a bunker fuel. Mr Doljanin said Avenir LNG is also able to leverage Stolt-Nielsen’s long history of innovation in the use of ISO containers as another possible means for distribution of LNG by truck.
To be successful in building its portfolio, Mr Doljanin said Avenir LNG needs to take a flexible, innovative approach to each project. “Developing the right solution,” he said, “depends on the customer’s requirements, the local regulatory framework, and the geographical constraints; we can look at land-based import terminals or floating facilities, with or without regas, depending on whether a customer needs LNG or gas supply.” Mr Doljanin added: “We are looking to build on our shareholders’ strong track record of innovative business development.”
Small-scale LNG facility
Avenir LNG’s innovative approach is evident in the development of the HIGAS facility in Italy, says Mr Doljanin. A small-scale LNG import facility, with Type C tank storage capacity of 10,800 m3, in Oristano, Sardinia, the HIGAS LNG terminal is expected to start up in Q1 2021. Avenir LNG holds an 80% stake in the facility, with local partners Gas & Heat and CPL Concordia, each holding a 10% share.
“The HIGAS facility is a tailored solution for the Sardinian market, with Type C tanks encased in concrete structures and infilled with perlite for insulation. That worked in Sardinia because we had a cement factory next door, and locally sourced perlite. The ability to bring together these regional elements demonstrates the skill set to develop innovative solutions for the local market,” says Mr Doljanin.
“We are enabling existing and potential gas consumers access to the global LNG market and a large part of that is engaging them in the process. Whilst they may not have the specific skills required to develop an LNG facility, they often have advantaged access to local skills and resources which can be utilised. Where an existing fuels supply chains is in place – distributing LPG or diesel into the local market – we will engage with those existing suppliers to enable their shift to an LNG-based solution. Where new business is being developed, then we will provide a reliable and competitive energy supply solution.”
With Avenir Advantage delivered and under charter, Mr Doljanin, concludes: “After a number of years of patient planning and business development, Avenir LNG is now an active participant in the market. LNG is the only scalable, rapidly deployable, cost effective and environmentally beneficial fuel choice. The next stage in the evolution of the LNG market is small-scale and I am proud to be leading Avenir LNG as we work with the LNG industry to realise this opportunity.”
|Avenir LNG’s Fleet|
|Vessel||Class||Length (m)||Beam (m)||Draught (m)||Capacity (m3)||Builder||Est. Delivery|
|Avenir Advantage||DNV GL||123.44||19||5.65||7,627||Keppel O&M Nantong||Q3 2020|
|Avenir Accolade||DNV GL||123.44||19||5.65||7,627||Keppel O&M Nantong||Q4 2020|
|Hull 1049||DNV GL||116||19||5.95||7,500||Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering||Q2 2021|
|Hull 1043||DNV GL||159.9||24||8.2||20,000||Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering||Q3 2021|
|Hull 1050||DNV GL||116||19||5.95||7,500||Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering||Q4 2021|
|Hull 1044||DNV GL||159.9||24||8.2||20,000||Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering||Q4 2021|