Japanese marine transport company Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and LNG Terminal Wilhelmshaven (LTW), a subsidiary of Düsseldorf-based energy firm Uniper, have signed a contract to build and charter an LNG terminal ship.
LTW is the project developer and operator of Uniper’s planned LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea coast of Germany, which is the country’s only deep-sea port. Its size means that LNG ships can land and turn easily, and it is near to the German long-distance gas network, making it ideal for an LNG terminal. Uniper described the signing of the contract as an ‘important milestone’ in the development of the site.
The ship, a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), has been custom designed and planned by MOL and LTW to fully meet local and environmental requirements for Germany and Wilhelmshaven. It will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering Company in Geoje, South Korea, and chartered for 20 years.
The FRSU will be moored off the coast and allow LNG tankers to offload easily. It will have a storage capacity of 263,000 m3 and can also regasify LNG for the German market. The ship will be connected to a pipeline to shore, through which gas can be pumped to the port facilities and then to the German gas grid.
Uniper says that using an FRSU means that there will be no complex regasification facilities on land, minimising the environmental impact both on the land and on the seabed.
‘This new agreement will build on the successful and trusting collaboration with MOL on previous major projects in the LNG ship market. The LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven is a long-term project based on the prediction that demand for imported natural gas on the German and European energy markets will increase significantly over the coming years,’ says Uniper Chief Operating Officer David Bryson.
The company will carry out a competitive tender process in the coming months to check the binding interest expressed by its potential customers, and will make a final investment decision subject to economic viability.