Largest FSRU Goes to Hong Kong’s First LNG Import Terminal
Hong Kong's first LNG import terminal will be launched in 2022 including a new joint venture agreement between Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Dutch tank storage company Royal Vopak to supply the LNG. The new joint venture company between MOL and Vopak will own the world’s largest floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) and have a long-term contract with Hong Kong LNG Terminal Limited to provide the FSRU, jetty operations and maintenance, and port services.
Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, Vopak will acquire 49.99 percent of the shares in the vessel owning company and the new company will leverage Vopak’s experience with terminals and MOL's experience with LNG vessels and FSRUs.
The joint venture will control MOL’s FSRU Challenger. With a has a storage and regasification capacity of 263,000 cbm and 800 mmscfd, MOL calls the vessel the largest FSRU in the world. Before positioning the vessel in Hong Kong, it will be renamed Bauhinia Spirit.
The offshore jetty platform for the mooring of the FSRU and LNG carriers are owned by Hong Kong LNG Terminal with the facility currently under construction. The terminal will be located offshore approximately 14 nautical miles southwest of Hong Kong Island. The terminal, which is expected to be operational in mid-2022, will provide natural gas feedstock to the customer’s dedicated power plants. It is being developed to support the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government’s target to improve air quality and environmental conditions by increasing the percentage of power generation by natural gas.
This agreement follows MOL’s earlier announcement entering into a long-term contract with Hong Kong Terminals and an agreement with Vopak for jetty support. The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including closing, refinancing, and obtaining regulatory approvals, with the expected completion after the commissioning of the terminal in mid-2022.
MOL and Vopak also aim to explore further downstream opportunities for bunkering of LNG as a cleaner marine fuel in Hong Kong, one of the major bunkering ports in Asia. MOL plans to operate approximately 90 LNG-fueled vessels by 2030 and looks at the agreement with Vopak to help support the deployment of its LNG fleet.