MOL of Japan coming onboard Delfin’s FLNG venture

Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has the opportunity to come onboard the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) industry via taking a stake in US LNG export infrastructure development company Delfin.

Delfin Midstream and MOL have entered into a strategic investment agreement —the terms of which were not divulged — that enables Delfin to accelerate clean low-cost LNG exports from North America to global customers. As part of the agreement, MOL will make an investment in Delfin and a MOL representative will join Delfin’s board.

The US company’s proposed Delfin LNG Deepwater Port project in the US Gulf of Mexico envisages ultimately having four FLNG units with combined production of up to 13.3 million tonnes per annum. Delfin has already signed deals with the long-term LNG sales with the likes of Centrica, Vitol and Hartree Partners Power & Gas Company.

“Proceeds from MOL’s investment will be used to accelerate making final investment decisions on our first two FLNG vessels this year,” said Delfin chief executive Dudley Poston.

“Our low-cost, simplified floating liquefaction solution will be significantly enhanced by MOL’s extensive marine expertise.”

The agreement also allows MOL to make additional investments directly in Delfin’s planned FLNG units and assist in their construction and operation. The Japanese company will then likely take stakes in the FLNG facilities and have access to LNG offtake from them, reported Upstream’s sister publication Tradewinds.

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Front-end engineering and design work for the Deepwater Port project has been performed with South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries and US contractor Black & Veatch.

“Drawing on our extensive expertise gained from previous LNG carrier and FSRU (floating storage and regasification unit) projects and other ventures, we anticipate collaborating with Delfin to successfully drive forward this project toward our initial shared goal of quickly making [the] final investment decision on the first FLNG vessel,” said MOL chief executive Takeshi Hashimoto.

Delfin earlier said it could take FID on the first floating liquefaction facility by early June or in early July.

“The Delfin team has deep experience successfully converting LNG carriers into both FSRUs and FLNG vessels,” said Wouter Pastoor, Delfin’s chief operating officer.