Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and tank storage company Royal Vopak (Vopak) have signed an agreement which will see the partners jointly owning and operating the floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) at Hong Kong’s new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.

The FSRU, which will see its name changed from MOL FSRU Challenger to Bauhinia Spirit, has a storage and regasification capacity of 263,000 cbm (cubic metres) and 800 mmscfd (million standard cubic feet per day). 

The joint venture will also provide the FSRU in addition to jetty operations, maintenance, and port services. 

Designed for mooring of the FSRU and LNG carriers, the jetty platform is owned by Hong Kong LNG Terminal Limited, developers of the LNG terminal which is scheduled to begin operations around mid-2022. 

Calling it ‘an ideal complementary relationship’, Takeshi Hashimoto, President & CEO, MOL, said that the partnership will utilise Vopak’s experience as a terminal operator with MOL’s know-how of LNG carrier and FSRU operation. 

MOL’s experience in this area includes its involvement in over 100 LNG carrier and FSRU projects. 

The partners also aim to explore the development of LNG bunkering to help decarbonise Hong Kong’s marine sector.