Saga LNG in China charter deal, plans to order 80,000-cbm carrier in Q1 2019

Singapore-based Saga LNG Shipping signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding to provide an 80,000-cbm LNG carrier for a planned liquefied natural gas project on the Yangtze River in China.

Chinese government has been lately pushing for the implementation of its Green Yangtze River plan to protect the river and fight pollution. Yangtze is the longest river in China and the third-longest in the world.

As LNG is being considered “one of the cleanest fuels available”, several small-scale LNG receiving and bunkering terminals have been proposed along the giant river, which is long about 6,380 km, to boost the use of LNG, including as fuel for ships.

Chinese pair, China Huadian and Guanghui Energy have earlier this year announced they plan to build an LNG receiving and storage facility in Yueyang city on the Yangtze River with the first phase of the project expected to come online by the end of December 2020.

Saga LNG’s 80,000-cbm LNG carrier would be chartered for a period of 10 years to serve the government’s Yangtze River plan, Saga LNG’s chief David Wu told LNG World News on Wednesday.

It would be used to transport LNG directly from southeastern Asia to the Yangtze River LNG Hub, he said.

This ship will be equipped with a patented LNG tank system named LNT A-Box developed by LNT Marine and will have a shallow draft of nine meters.

Wu said that the company plans to sign the final shipbuilding contract for the vessel in the first quarter of 2019. The LNG carrier is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2021.

Saga LNG has currently one 45,000-cbm midsize LNG carrier nearing completion at China Merchants Heavy Industry’s Haimen shipyard in Jiangsu. This vessel is the first LNG carrier using the LNT A-Box LNG containment system in the world.

Wu also said that Saga LNG plans to develop inland vessels which will be able to transport LNG cargoes to the upper part of Yangtze River.

Saga LNG is working with a Chinese design house to develop a 28,500-cbm carrier that will be able to transport LNG to the city of Wuhan and a 12,000-cbm vessel that will ship the fuel to Yichang, he added.


By Mirza Duran