Growth in gas-fired power generation and import regasification terminals in southeast Asia have caught the attention of Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL)
MOL president and chief executive Junichiro Ikeda told investors in the Japanese shipping line that floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) are becoming a “pillar” of its offshore business. “We aim to move into FSRU projects and new fields such as the LNG powership through a joint venture with a Turkish company,” said Mr Ikeda.
The diversification into FSRUs, explained Mr Ikeda, is in response to the increasing number of developing countries that are beginning to import LNG, creating new business opportunities that “go beyond the framework of conventional LNG transport.” After a decade of operation, FSRUs are viewed as cost-effective solutions that can quickly establish infrastructure for LNG imports or underpin gas-to-power projects.
One of the world’s leading LNG shipping companies, MOL inked a contract to support Asia’s first such gas-to-power project integrating an FSRU, electric generation and gas-related facilities.
Set to come online in December 2021, MOL will build the FSRU for Indonesia’s Jawa 1 gas-fired project, chartering the vessel to PT Jawa Satu Regas, a joint venture of PT Pertamina and Japanese trading houses Marubeni and Sojitz. Under construction at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries, the FSRU will have a capacity of 170,000 m3.
The power plant and the FSRU will be maintained and operated in tandem and the electricity produced by these facilities will be sold to Indonesian state-owned electricity utility PT PLN (Persero) for over 25 years.
The PT Jawa Satu Regas is one of four FSRU projects MOL has time charter contracts between 2019-2021.
MOL also has deals in place for two FSRUs with Swan Energy in India and another with Hong Kong LNG Terminal in Hong Kong. Plans call for MOL to add six FSRUs, expanding its fleet to 10 by 2025. MOL also sees potential in the Philippines and Thailand.
US-based Excelerate Energy is developing an LNG import terminal in the Philippines using an FSRU. Excelerate signed a five-year bareboat charter deal with Greece’s Maran Gas Maritime for a 173,400-m3 FSRU under construction at South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.
As for the LNG powership business, MOL has formed Karmol, a joint venture with Turkey’s Karpowership International. The first LNG-to-powership project for the joint venture will be in Mozambique. The FSRU will deliver regasified LNG to the Powership – Karpowership’s brand name for floating power stations – to produce electricity for the grid for Electricidade de Moçambique, the Mozambican national power utility.