Golar LNG’s troubled floating LNG project has finally left the yard.
The New York-listed, Tor Olav Troim-backed company said on Sunday that the 126,277-cbm Golar Gimi (built 1976) departed Singapore’s Seatrium Shipyard and was en route to BP’s Greater Tortue Ahmeyim hub in West Africa.
“With Gimi soon on site for the start-up of operations, Golar will double its operating fleet of FLNGs and bring total installed liquefaction capacity up to 5.1 mtpa,” said Golar LNG chief executive Karl Fredrik Staubo.
“We look forward to having FLNG Gimi in operation, and to continued long-term cooperation with BP, Kosmos and the national oil and gas companies of Mauritania and Senegal.”
The voyage from Singapore to the Mauritania-Senegal maritime border is expected to take approximately 60 days, with refuelling stops in Mauritius and Namibia.
Upon arrival, the Golar Gimi will notify BP that it is ready to be moored and connected to the hub, Golar LNG said, kicking off a 20-year lease.
The vessel was subject to a force majeure claim from BP in 2020, with the oil major claiming it would not be able to receive the vessel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Golar LNG and BP eventually agreed to push back the delivery date by 11 months.
Earlier this year, there was still hope the vessel would reach the hub before the start of 2024 with Staubo telling TradeWinds in September that it would be ready for operations this year and that the Golar Gimi would be leaving the yard shortly for sea trials.
The vessel is also subject to an arbitration dispute between Golar LNG and BP over “a contract-interpretation dispute relating to parts of the pre-commissioning contractual cash flows”, Golar LNG said in its second-quarter earnings release.
The Golar Gimi is Golar LNG’s second FLNG, following the conversion of the Hilli Episeyo (built 1975) in 2017. That vessel is chartered to Perenco Cameroon through the second quarter of 2026.
The company had also flagged the 126,000-cbm Golar Gandria (built 1977) as a conversion candidate subject to a final investment decision on a future offshore gas project, but demolition brokers earlier this year reported that the ship had been sold for scrap.