Awilco Sells Two Laid-Up LNG Carriers

As the weak LNG freight market continued in the early part of 2016, the Norwegian liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation provider Awilco LNG ASA decided to sell two of its 125,000 cbm LNG carriers.

Namely, the company signed a binding agreement to sell the 1984- and 1983-built WilGas and WilEnergy on May 30.

Awilco LNG said that the carriers, which were in cold lay-up, were purchased by an undisclosed buyer.

Under the agreement, WilGas and WilEnergy are expected to join their new owner from mid-August to mid-September 2016.

The first quarter of 2016 was no better than the previous quarter for LNG shipowners as spot rates remained low at around USD 30,000pd, global shipping consultancy Drewry recently said, adding that LNG shipowners will have to wait until 2018 for earnings to improve, when the majority of new US plants are expected to come online.

During the quarter two new liquefaction plants, Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) and US Sabine Pass LNG, began operations, however the freight rates for LNG carriers remain low despite the new liquefaction trains coming online.

“The majority of fixtures have been in the Pacific basin, however they have tended to be for relatively short periods, and this is also where the largest number of idle vessels are located,” according to Golar LNG. Owners’ economics have remained under pressure as charterers have taken full advantage of this overcapacity.

“The current market situation has attracted new LNG importers that were previously unwilling or unable to buy this commodity,” Höegh LNG said.

Inflated fleet growth over the last few years has led to a supply glut, which is expected to keep the rates under pressure until 2017, Drewry concluded.

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