Peter Mackey is stepping down as chief executive of bunkering joint venture Avenir LNG.

Avenir — which was set up as a joint venture between Golar LNG, Hoegh LNG and Stolt-Nielsen — said today that Mackey will stay with the company until the end of the first quarter of 2024 “to support the leadership transition”.

The company, which owns five small-scale LNG carriers and an LNG receiving terminal in Italy, said its board is “working to find a replacement”.

In the interim, commercial director Jonathan Quinn will “work closely with the Avenir leadership team and the board to ensure the smooth running of the company until a permanent replacement is found”.

Mackey joined Avenir LNG in January 2020 from oil and gas company LDM Energy. He stepped up to the CEO role in November that year on the departure of Milorad Doljanin.

Commenting on “his decision”, Mackey said in a statement: “I’m enormously proud of the platform we’ve created within Avenir since it was founded in late 2018.”

In a social media post he said: “When I joined Avenir in January 2020, we were a brand-new company with only eight employees in London and some bold ambitions in the small-scale LNG sector. Today, we have grown to more than 200 people working in eight countries...

“Avenir is about to enter a new phase of growth and I think it’s the right time for a new leader to take the company forward.

“It has been a huge privilege to lead Avenir … and I’ll be cheering on from the sidelines to see where it goes next.”

Chairman Niels Stolt-Nielsen thanked Mackey for his contribution and wished him success for the future: “During Peter’s time with Avenir it has grown into one of the leaders in the small-scale LNG market today.”

The company also announced that Stolt-Nielsen chief executive Udo Lange will join the board, replacing Jan Chr. Engelhardtsen, who stepped down as director this month.