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GAC highlights importance of specialised agency services for LNG shipping

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    25 October 2015

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Group to showcase bespoke services for gas carriers at Gastech

Singapore – Global shipping, logistics and marine services provider GAC Group has highlighted the growing importance for LNG ship owners and operators of working with ship agents with specialist expertise and capabilities to meet the requirements of gas carriers and companies shipping and trading LNG cargoes.

Speaking ahead of the Gastech Conference & Exhibition taking place in Singapore this week, GAC has provided its insight into global growth patterns in the LNG shipping sector and the requirement for specialisation from ship agencies serving LNG vessels. Complying with regulatory, technical and operational requirements when making port calls requires specialist technical knowledge and training, GAC highlights. Moreover, the LNG market has seen a growing number of smaller companies enter the market - often without the network of port-based support enjoyed by larger players - and requiring specific operational and commercial expertise to support port calls by gas carriers.

Christer Sjödoff, Group Vice President, Commercial, GAC, commented: “GAC has a long history of serving gas carriers, having handled over 10,000 LNG port calls in the past 10 years. Large LNG and energy companies have historically dominated the LNG trade, but the growth in shale gas production has opened up the market to smaller companies. These companies have identified the commercial opportunity to trade gas cargoes, but without necessarily having the required LNG experience or support infrastructure.

“It is important to recognise that LNG requires specialist support and that all companies shipping gas cargoes require the right services to meet the needs of their vessels.  This not only enables compliance with regulatory, technical and operational requirements, but also ensures that they receive daily intelligence on the performance of the global gas markets that will enable them to capitalise on the commercial opportunities available.”

Christer Sjödoff also described the role of the ship agent in the LNG supply chain: “The LNG sector is the most dynamic sector within global energy and shipping markets and the agent is a vital link in the LNG supply chain, ensuring that port calls by gas carriers are conducted safely and efficiently.  This will help to build trust and confidence in LNG shipping as the sector continues to grow and mature.

“GAC has decades of experience as a ship agent for gas carriers. We draw on our global port network and in-house LNG expertise to provide a full service solution for owners and operators of gas carriers. Whether sharing our local knowledge of LNG terminals, undertaking an LNG compatibility study for required ports or managing ship-to-ship transfers, we have the expertise and resources that LNG operators need.  In addition, our ability to provide operational costings for swaps, short notice diversions and arbitrage opportunities ensures they realise the full benefits of this fast-moving market.”

GAC is showcasing its full range of ship agency and related services for gas carriers at Stand D380 at Gastech, where GAC’s groundbreaking ‘HullWiper’ ROV system will also be on display. Launched in late 2013, the HullWiper Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) system offers an eco-friendly, diver-free and highly efficient hull cleaning solution that helps LNG carriers to save time and money on their hull cleaning requirements in port.

In August 2015, GAC handled the first gas carriers to offload at Jordan’s Aqaba port. GAC acted as agent for the Golar Eskimo’s call to offload 144,218 cubic meters of LNG from Qatar. GAC also handled ship-to-ship transfers of LNG from the Castillo De Santisteban, the first LNG carrier to call at Aqaba, and the SCF Melampus to the Golar Eskimo.

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