Norwegian shipping firm Golar LNG has awarded a contract to Keppel Shipyard to build its first floating liquefied natural gas vessel (FLNGV).
The new FLNGV will be based on the conversion of one of Golar’s three existing Moss LNG carriers.
The Norwegian firm has already converted three other Moss carriers into floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs), two of which were worked on by Keppel.
Keppel will carry out the engineering and conversion of Golar’s FLNGVs to help the development of gas monetisation opportunities.
The new FLNGV is expected to provide customers increased flexibility, quicker development times and special abilities to develop reserves.
The first FLNGV will use the existing 125,000m³ of LNG storage and will have a carrying capacity of two million tonnes per year.
Golar chairman John Fredriksen said the company has introduced floating receiving terminals to help open new markets for LNG.
"Our FLNGVs will be able to provide a fast-track, cost-effective solution for developing new LNG production capacity," Fredriksen said. "We believe this technology will be extremely attractive to companies looking to develop their natural gas assets and we are actively pursuing multiple opportunities."
Keppel expects to start the front end engineering design (FEED) study in November 2012, while detailed design and engineering is expected to be completed by mid-2013, after which the vessel conversion will begin.
In order to meet customer requirements, the shipyard will implement several construction stages for the first FLNGV, which is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2015.
When operational the vessel will be used for field developments and direct production from existing pipeline infrastructure.
The Norwegian shipping firm expects to order the conversion of a further two tankers with Keppel under the same agreement.
Funding for the first vessel will be provided through a combination of existing cash, future cash flow, further drop downs and new debt facilities.