Dreifa Energy, a new Norwegian outfit founded by a number of gas veterans, is pushing ahead with its first FRU development.
In late June Dreifa Energy entered into an agreement to acquire the platform supply vessel Blue Betria from Blue Star Line. The vessel was built in 1983 and upgraded in 2015 and is currently trading in the North Sea.
Dreifa is developing mid-scale floating regasification terminals for LNG imports and it aims to build, own and operate a fleet of FRUs.
A final investment decision for the first FRU conversion will take place in the coming months. Dreifa has already formed an operational partnership with Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement.
With global LNG production capacity set to grow by an unprecedented 50% over the coming five years, new markets for gas are opening up, with emerging economies seeking cheaper ways of importing gas – a niche Dreifa intends to occupy.
The floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) is a well-established and proven concept with a short and attractive delivery schedule compared to land based import terminals. The LNG industry has historically been a game between large producers selling under long-term contracts and a small number of equally large buyers. This has had an impact on the early stages of the FSRU market, where the core technology has developed in a similar manner; increasing regasification capacity and large LNG storage to match the increasing ship and parcel sizes in the chase for economies of scale. As a result of this, FSRUs being offered by leading players in the industry are often ill equipped and uneconomic for new and smaller LNG importers.
Jostein Ueland, 38, one of Dreifa’s founders, was previously the CFO and co-founder of FLEX LNG.
“The Dreifa approach,” Ueland explains, “is to offer new and aspiring LNG consumers infrastructure solutions for what they need, not what they might need in 10 to 15 years. By providing low cost and fit for purpose solutions, projects can manage their access to regasification capacity commercially instead of going long and subsequently trying to off load the capacity or make uneconomic decisions to fill unused capacity.”
Dreifa is working on a number of projects around the world. Focus areas are new and prospective LNG consumers in Africa, Southeast Asia, Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
“We see strong demand for the Dreifa Terminal solution,” Ueland says, adding: “We plan to build a significant fleet of FRUs over time and work with new and old relationships to enable LNG to be available around the world.”
Dreifa will continue to be active in the secondhand market for potential conversion candidates and is open to further outright purchases or alternative partnership structures.