BG Group has entered into an agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Limited of Korea to purchase three new-build liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships.
The three 145,000 cubic metre ships are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2006. BG has also secured options with Samsung for up to a further four new-build ships for delivery in 2007. In total, the cost of the three ships and the options will be approximately $460 million.
Martin Houston, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, North America, Caribbean and Global LNG, said: "This is a great deal for BG. It reflects the successful development of our long-term Atlantic LNG strategy and secures shipping capacity in 2006 and beyond. There is significant potential within the whole Atlantic Basin region to accelerate further our LNG business and these new ships will help BG build its position as a leading player in LNG."
Samsung will build, equip, launch and deliver the ships using the GTT MkIII membrane cargo containment system – the standard LNG ship specification. The vessels will use steam turbine
propulsion, enabling them to sail at an average speed of 20 knots.
BG Asia Pacific currently owns two LNG ships (Methane Arctic and Methane Polar) which are on long-term charters in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Methane Services Ltd (MSL), a wholly owned subsidiary of BG Group, also charters four ships from Golar LNG (Hilli, Gimi, Khannur and Freeze), all of which are contracted to either long-term or short-term sub-charters. MSL also has commitments to take delivery of two new LNG ships under long term charter in mid 2004 (Methane Kari Elin and Methane Princess).