Stolt-Nielsen Gas exercises options for LNG carriers at Keppel

Keppel is optimistic about small-scale LNG projects. Credit: John Gurton
Keppel is optimistic about small-scale LNG projects. Credit: John Gurton

Stolt-Nielsen has exercised options for two more small-scale LNG carriers at Singapore’s Keppel Singmarine, worth SGD105 million (USD76 million) collectively.

The original contract, signed in May 2017 between Stolt-Nielsen Gas BV (SNG) and Keppel Singmarine, was for two 7,500 m3 LNG carriers valued at approximately USD80 million.

SNG had the option of purchasing three additional ships of similar specifications. The first option lapsed in November 2017, while SNG has opted to exercise the second and third options.

The first two vessels were built at Keppel Singmarine’s shipyard in Nantong, China, and were scheduled for delivery in the second and third quarters of 2019, respectively. They will be able to run on diesel fuel or liquefied natural gas (LNG), and have ship-to-ship bunkering capabilities.

The third and fourth vessels will be completed in 4Q 2020 and 1Q 2021, respectively, and will have a class notation for bunkering which enables the vessels to provide LNG bunkering services, if required.

In a 7 October statement, Keppel said it anticipates LNG being adopted as a marine fuel, as global emissions standards tighten.

“Economical and quick to market, small-scale LNG projects are a means to reaching end-users located in remote areas not served by pipelines.”

Abu Bakar, managing director of gas and specialised vessels at Keppel Offshore and Marine, noted that the latest orders will be Keppel’s fourth and fifth vessel capable of LNG bunkering, and the 11th and 12th LNG-powered vessels that Keppel is building.

“We look forward to furthering this track record as the industry increasingly adopts LNG as a marine fuel,” the statement added.