Oslo: These are exciting times for Awilco LNG with its first two newbuilds delivering shortly this year, but there is plenty more to come from this Norwegian player. The two ships from Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering join three bought from Japanese owners. Jon Skule Storheill, ceo of Awilco LNG, tells Maritime CEO: “We don’t see five ships as an optimal size, but want to grow when the opportunity is there and timing is right.” Storheill is quick to add that there are no intentions to become a giant LNG owner, the key being able to handle clients’ needs while creating long term shareholder value at the same time.
Storheill dismisses talk of overcapacity in the LNG shipping sector, citing in particular the old age of many of the existing global fleet.
“Many players talk about the number of unemployed newbuildings,” admits the Norwegian, “but when you analyse the orderbook you will find that there are today maybe 30 available, and in total maybe 100 newbuildings delivering over the next three years which should be very manageable.” He urges readers to keep in mind that although LNG vessels have a long lifespan, more than 30 vessels are above 35 years of age.
Among the most exciting nations for Storheill in the LNG business is China.
Although Japan and Korea are the two biggest importers of LNG today China is expected to grow at a phenomenal rate going forward.
“We will not be surprised if China imports more LNG in 2020 than Japan did 10 years earlier,” says Storheill. That will need plenty more ships hitting the waters, something to keep Storheill happy. [26/07/13]
NEED TO KNOW: Awilco LNG
Founded by Norway’s Awilco in 2011 with the purchase of three 125,000 cu m ships from Japanese owners, Awilco LNG will also shortly take delivery of a pair of 156,000 cu m LNG carriers from Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.