World’s Biggest Vessel for LNG Import Heads for Turkey

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The world’s biggest specialised vessel to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), a cheaper and quicker solution than a land-based facility, is on its way to Turkey to help with imports of the fuel mainly used for heating and power generation.

The MOL FSRU Challenger, as long as the Eiffel Tower, is expected to arrive from South Korea this month.

Last winter, a cold wave gripped the whole region, including Iran, where Turkey gets some of its gas from. Due to this, the nation could not manage enough fuel to meet its gas demand and the grid asked private power plants to reduce fuel demand by as much as 90 per cent.

A first floating storage and regasification unit, the Neptune, arrived in December 2016, to complement two onshore terminals at Aliaga and Marmara Ereglisi.

Turkey was the fastest-growing market for LNG imports after China, South Korea and Japan, in the first half of the year and there is a prediction of an uneven demand in the nation till 2030.

The 345-m (1,132 ft) tanker can store 263,000 m3 of LNG, enough to cover more than a day’s gas demand in Turkey. It was sailing westward, just south of India as of October 24 (Tuesday). The ship can also export the fuel for use in neighboring regions, according to Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd., the owner and operator of the vessel.

State gas grid operator Botas Boru Hatlari Ile Petrol Tasima AS signed the lease agreement for the vessel, which will be located at Dortyol near the Syrian border. Floating LNG terminals allow countries to import gas from a variety of sources, which increases competition and can lead to lower gas prices.

Sea News, October 27