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Midsize LNG Tankers Become Key In Opening New Markets

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) traders and shipbuilders are looking to increasingly offer services on mid-size LNG tankers that are capable of traveling on shallower rivers, thus reaching new markets for LNG, Bloomberg reports.

Saga LNG Shipping, for example, has already seen a mid-sized LNG tanker, Saga Dawn, complete her maiden voyage, delivering LNG at JOVO’s Dongguan Terminal from Singapore LNG. 

According to David Wu, Founder and CEO of Saga LNG Shipping, the company aims to build up its own fleet of mid-sized LNG carriers to enable new and stranded markets with access to cost-effective LNG.

The midsized LNG vessels will be capable of traveling inland on large rivers, which could give more territories, especially in China, direct access to LNG, which is typically being unloaded at big ports and LNG terminals.

In two of the biggest LNG customers in Asia, China and India, there are a lot of shallow rivers not suitable for very large LNG ships to travel—that is why midsize LNG tankers could be an option for reaching landlocked areas where rivers run, Sarah Behbehani, former senior vice president for LNG at Jera Global Markets, told Bloomberg.

Singapore-based Saga LNG Shipping has recently signed a preliminary deal with Venerable LNG (VLNG) in India, looking to bring LNG to a terminal and infrastructure project under development by VLNG.

“We are excited to see the progress of Saga LNG in providing custom made supply solutions to draft limited ports, a necessity in order to access the distributed demand centers without dependence on third party infrastructure. We look forward to jointly working with them to open up newer geographies for LNG supply,” said Mayank Garg, Managing Director of VLNG.

The global LNG fleet has very few midsize LNG tankers at present—8.8 percent of the 601 LNG carriers are under 90,000 cubic meters, Bloomberg says, citing data from the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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