A steam turbine-driven LNG carrier has been beached in India for demolition marking the first scrap sale for the sector in 2022.

Brokers said the 126,540-cbm Dahlia (ex-Ocean Quest, built 1979) arrived under tow at a beach plot on 26 May. The vessel is reported to have been sold on an “as is” basis in Malaysia.

A price has yet to emerge for the 33,141-ldt, membrane-type vessel.

Demolition prices have been running hot recently amid a shortage of tonnage but have cooled off slightly since mid-May.

Brokers said this is the first LNG carrier to be sold for scrap in 2022.

Last year saw at least eight LNG vessels sent for recycling, one of the highest totals on record. Names including Sinokor Merchant Marine, Sonatrach and MISC all chose to dispose of tonnage in 2021, with a further seven vessels being sold for scrap last year.

Market players have been expecting a surge in the number of steam turbine vessels sold for scrap in advance of the incoming tougher Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index and Carbon Intensity Indicator emissions regulations in 2023.

But several have commented that the current strong market and a sharp rise in demand for old tonnage — for conversions to floating storage and regasification units or floating storage units — are likely to keep these vessels away from the breakers’ beaches.

The Ocean Quest, however, has — like several other LNG carriers of its vintage — been lying idle for some time.

The LNG carrier started life as the El Paso Howard Boyd when it was delivered from Newport News Shipbuilding.

It went on to be renamed Gamma, and later the Suez Matthew before becoming simply the Matthew.

The vessel was most recently owned by interests controlled by Stewart Elliott’s Energy World Corp.

Elliott’s company bought the vessel from French energy company Engie in 2016 to use it for an LNG import located off Pagbilao Island in the Philippines. But the project did not materialise.