Venture Gator LNG carrier; Source: Venture Global LNG

First of nine ships built to haul US LNG around the globe hits the water while light turns green for Venture Global’s third export facility

Venture Global, a U.S. producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) sourced from North American basins, has launched the first of nine LNG carriers that form part of its fleet designed to transport LNG from the United States to multiple global partners and destinations. The firm has also received the go-ahead from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its third LNG export facility.

Venture Gator LNG carrier; Source: Venture Global LNG

The ceremony for the first LNG vessel, Venture Gator, took place at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoji-si, South Korea. The ship, which is said to deploy environmental and efficiency technology, will be primarily fueled by Venture Global’s liquefied natural gas.

Mike Sabel, CEO of Venture Global, commented: “Venture Global is proud to have launched our first ship, the Venture Gator at SHI in Korea. President Biden has committed to increasing LNG supply into Europe and we are pleased to be in a position to continue to support these efforts with a fast-growing shipping fleet, wholly owned, operated and controlled by Venture Global.”

The 174,000 cubic meter Venture Gator ship comes with a new hull design, onboard reliquefication for liquefying gas that has boiled off in transit, air-lubrication systems for ejecting air bubbles from the hull to reduce friction through the water, an auxiliary shaft generator for reducing the number of auxiliary generators running at sea, and exhaust gas recirculation systems to reduce methane.

Venture Global is adamant that these features, which all vessels in its LNG new-build carrier fleet will sport, make these ships among the cleanest on the ocean nowadays. The remaining eight carriers are anticipated to be completed in succession across three shipyards in South Korea over the coming 24 months.

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The Venture Gator LNG carrier, which will progressively be joined by the fleet’s other eight ships, will start serving the U.S. firm’s partners in Europe and Asia this fall.

“With these ships, we will increase the security of natural gas supply, through low-cost LNG delivered directly to allies across the world,” added Sabel.

While the U.S. player began producing LNG at its first facilityCalcasieu Pass, in January 2022, the second facility, Plaquemines LNG, is under construction with the first LNG expected in 2024.

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After securing a positive final environmental impact statement (FEIS) from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in July 2023, Venture Global’s third facility, CP2 LNG, has received FERC’s approval. The initial phase of CP2 has been sold through 20-year sales and purchase agreements with ExxonMobil, Chevron, JERA, New Fortress Energy, INPEX, China Gas, SEFE, and EnBW.

Sabel underlined: “Venture Global applauds the Commission and FERC staff for their independent and thorough review and approval of CP2 LNG. This project will be critical to global energy security and supporting the energy transition, as well as provide jobs and economic growth across Louisiana and the United States.”

Recently, Venture Global penned a new LNG agreement with D.Trading for the supply of U.S. LNG to Ukraine and Eastern Europe, which enables the latter to purchase up to 2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG from CP2 for 20 years. The U.S. LNG player, which claims to be engaged in active discussions for the remaining capacity at its third export facility, has confirmed that significant off-site construction of the project is underway.

“We look forward to a swift non-FTA approval from the U.S. Department of Energy for this project that is critical to both global and national security,” emphasized Sabel.