Covid-19 To Compel The Market Participants To Let 2020 Just Pass?
The production of natural gas has been growing at an exponential rate. This could be attributed to continuously falling prices due to shale gas revolution coupled with growing demand for LNG imports from automotive sectors and power plants.
Consistency witnessed in the form of demand for 140,000 – 180,000 m3 Storage Capacity
There are two categories of FSRU as per storage capacity – 140,000 – 180,000 m3 and above 180,000 m3. In the initial days, it was a norm to have vessels with storage capacity having upper limit not more than 140,000 m3. However, this limit was raised to 170,000 m3 in 2018 and that trend is being followed till date. Thus, the first category promises geometric progression all though the forecast period.
Demand from Near Shore and Port Based FSRU to Soar, Thereby Boosting the Demand for Inshore Terminals
The FSRU market has onshore and offshore terminals based on platform. FSRU (Floating Storage & Regasification Unit) vessels get anchored either using exclusive buoy systems offshore due to technical glitches or port congestion or are fixed near shoreline. The latter one is asked for, as it proves to be cost-effective as well as easily accessible (maintenance is easy). As such, the inshore terminals are likely to account for US$ 700 Mn+ absolute opportunities in the subsequent 10 years.
How About Barge-Based and Carrier-Based Vessels?
Coming to the “design’ aspect, the FSRU (Floating Storage & Regasification Unit) constitutes carrier vessel-based and barge-based. Barge-based vessels are emerging as the most sought-after ones, especially where the small-scale LNG import comes into picture. Otherwise, carrier-based vessels are doing a good job.
What do Regions have to Say?
The fastest growing economies like Southeast Asia and MEA are expected to lead the FSRU (Floating Storage & Regasification Unit) market due to the growing demand for FSRU terminals herein due to remote locations and non-existence of pipeline networks. FSRU terminals prove to be a feasible alternative for the LNG imports in comparison with land-based terminals due to fast project turnaround time coupled with flexibility.
MEA and Asia-Pacific are collectively expected to account for more than 80% of revenue generated in FSRU market between 2020 and 2030.
The fleet owners leasing out vessels to the terminal operators through long-term contracts govern the FSRU market. At times, the operators end up buying out vessel. Due to a handful of fleet owners available, the competition is fierce. Inorganic modes of expansion are being followed.
For instance –
- Hoegh, in Sep 2018, did receive an order from CCB Financial Leasing Co. Ltd. to supply FSRU # 10. It was delivered in Q2 2019.
- Exmar NV, in Dec 2017, received an order from Wison Shipyard to supply barge-based FSRU with storage capacity of 26,000 m3 LNG and regasification capacity of 600MMSCFD.
- In Feb 2017, Excelerate Energy inked a deal with DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding and marine Engineering) to deliver up to 7FSRU vessels.
The other players in the FSRU market include Golar LNG Limited, Cosco Shipping International (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd., Keppel Offshore & marine Ltd, MITSUI & CO., LTD., BW LPG Limited.
Covid-19 Effect on Industry
The outbreak of Covid-19 has applied indefinite brakes to the FSRU market. Partial/total lockdowns imposed all over have restricted the people from working on field. This has slowed down the extraction of natural gas and its variants. Though unlocking has begun in certain parts, it will take a while (the year 2020 to pass, as stated by healthcare experts) for things to fall in place. This economic downturn is likely to result in sloppy growth altogether, atleast till some sunshine is seen in this respect. The normalcy will also come with hoards of rules and regulations to prevent further spread of the pandemic.