Gail emerges for LNG ships

A tender for up to nine LNG newbuildings has finally been issued by Gail (India) after months of delays and discussions.

The Indian gas buyer has asked shipowners and yards to quote on three trios of vessels of between 173,000 cbm to 180,000 cbm for delivery dates from 2018 that it plans to take on charter for periods of 20 years with options to extend the hire.

But the company has stipulated that one out of each grouping has to be constructed at an Indian shipyard.

Gail has tried to soften the domestic yard pill by allowing six years for each of the Indian-built vessels as opposed to the normal period of less than three for shipbuilders in South Korea, Japan or China.

The inclusion of three Indian shipyards, which have no experience in LNG carrier construction and lack the facilities to build this type of vessel, in the pre-qualified yard line-up has been a key element in holding up the tender process over the last eight months.

Gail needs the tonnage for the 5.8 million tonnes per annum of LNG that it is buying from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG and Dominion Resources’ Cove Point facilities in the US.