Golar LNG said it has invested $24.75 million in Avenir LNG a company set up to pursue opportunities in the small-scale liquefied natural gas market.
The move is a part of a joint commitment of up to $182 million by Stolt-Nielsen, Höegh LNG and Golar LNG in a company that will also focus on the delivery of LNG to areas of stranded demand, the development of LNG bunkering services and supply to the transportation sector.
Avenir LNG intends to utilize the capabilities of its anchor investors to build a global presence as the leading provider of small-scale LNG.
The market for small-scale LNG is rapidly expanding, with great potential to be realized in the off-grid power, transportation and bunkering markets because of high-margin oil-to-gas switching, policy changes and environmental benefits of consuming LNG relative to alternative fossil fuels, the company00s said in a joint statement.
The forthcoming IMO 2020 regulations are one of many driving factors for increased small-scale LNG consumption, and Avenir LNG plans to introduce safe and efficient ship-to-ship bunkering services at key strategic ports to meet and develop demand for LNG as a marine fuel.
Avenir LNG was originally formed by Stolt-Nielsen in 2017 to provide LNG to markets lacking access to LNG pipelines.
Stolt-Nielsen will consolidate all its LNG activities into Avenir, including four small-scale LNG carriers currently under construction at Keppel Singmarine in Nantong, China, and an LNG terminal and distribution facility under development in the Italian port of Oristano, Sardinia.
Avenir LNG plans to source and ship LNG to the terminal using small LNG carriers, and distribute the LNG in trucks and through regasification into the local gas grid.
Golar LNG and Höegh LNG will each hold an initial share of 25 percent of Avenir LNG, while Stolt-Nielsen will remain the largest shareholder with ownership of 50 percent.