Norway-based Höegh LNG has chartered out the recently delivered Höegh Giant to an unnamed trader for short-term contracts as an LNG carrier or FSRU until mid-2018 when the vessel’s long-term contract with Quantum Power in Ghana is expected to start.
Höegh Giant was delivered in late April and is committed to a 20-year FSRU contract with Quantum Power for the Tema LNG project.
Höegh LNG revealed that the the 170,000 cbm vessel will not be idle until the start-up of the Ghana contract in its financial report for the first quarter of 2017.
The group ended the first quarter of 2017 with a net profit of USD 11.45 million, an 80.6% increase compared to USD 6.3 million net profit reported for the same period a year earlier.
The increase in the company’s EBITDA, which stood at USD 36.7 million in Q1 2017, and in the net profit was driven mainly by the start-up of Höegh Grace under the long-term FSRU contract in Colombia, and was offset by higher operating expenses and lower management income, Höegh LNG said.
The profit for the quarter increased significantly compared to USD 0.8 million net profit in the fourth quarter of 2016 due to higher EBITDA, lower net financial expenses and a reduction in taxes.
All six FSRUs and two LNG carriers in Höegh LNG’s fleet operated in accordance with contracts during the quarter, and the technical availability remained stable at close to 100%, the group said.
The FSRUs in operation delivered 17% more gas to their charterers than in the fourth quarter of 2016, and 43% more than in the first quarter of 2016.
Höegh LNG now has a total of 10 FSRUs in operation and on order.
Looking ahead, the company continues to pursue additional business opportunities and remains confident it will reach its goal of a fleet of 12 units in operation or under construction by 2019.
While earnings improved into 2017, the delivery of Höegh Giant is likely to affect net earnings in the second and subsequent quarters until it starts its long-term contract in Ghana, or the short term LNGC market improves, the group said.