NORWAY’S Höegh LNG Holdings said today it is weighing whether to sell two older vessels, as its board warned that full-year operating results are likely to trail those of 2012.
The Oslo-listed LNG carrier and regasification unit owner said in a statement it might sell the 1973-built, 87,600m³-capacity Norman Lady and the 126,400m³-capacity, 1979-built LNG Libra after their charter contracts expire later this year.
Another option is to find new time charters for them, said the group, which had 1Q13 net losses of $7.9M, much deeper than the $3.8M in losses year on year.
Revenues rose to $29.1M from $25.5M y/y, but this was more than offset by a rise on both depreciations and interest expenses.
The company, which has a fleet of eight ships, noted that the regasification unit market remains active, with new project opportunities emerging mainly in South America, South East Asia and the Middle East.
“While no FSRU projects were awarded in the quarter, several projects are expected to be awarded during 2013,” it added. “There are currently eight FSRUs on order for delivery by 2015, of which four are uncommitted.
Höegh LNG noted that it holds an attractive delivery position, with one open FSRU scheduled in the first quarter of 2015. “One new FSRU project started operations in the quarter, offshore Israel,” it said.
Long-term demand for LNG is expected to remain strong, said the group, which predicted continued growth in the FSRU market, its main focus.
Höegh LNG emphasised that the group remains optimistic about winning new FSRU contracts and added: “The long-term LNG transportation market also looks promising, with significant new LNG production capacity scheduled to come on stream within the next few years.”
However, mainly because Norman Lady has been drydocked and off charter in the review period, the company cautioned that full-year 2013 operating profits are likely to fall short of 2012’s $36.9M.