A newly freed-up Hoegh LNG ship is making its way westward after the High Court of Bombay ordered the port of Jaigarh to stop stalling and assign the ship a pilot and let it sail.

The 170,000-cbm floating storage and regasification unit Hoegh Giant (built 2017) is free for new work after lawyers for Hoegh LNG wrested it loose from the stalled Indian floating terminal project.

Hoegh LNG chief financial officer Havard Furu declined to comment on the dispute or the commercial problems that have plagued the Hoegh Giant’s India business.

But he confirmed the ship is free and gives Hoegh LNG exactly the number of vessels it needs for its long-term charter commitments.

“We are sold out,” Furu told TradeWinds.

AIS data shows the Hoegh Giant left Jaigarh on the Indian west coast on 15 July, following litigation with charterer Western Concessions that had gone on since March. The charterer is a subsidiary of H-Energy, part of real-estate magnate Darshan Hiranandani’s Hiranandani group.

Brokers point to Germany as its obvious next destination, given the country’s acute need for alternatives to Russian pipeline gas, and a two-ship contract with Hoegh LNG waiting to be filled.

But Furu said Germany is only one of the possibilities.

“The Hoegh Giant will trade spot or short-term contracts for a few months and then we’ll see which of our FSRU projects we allocate it to,” he told TradeWinds.

Against a background of urgent demand, Hoegh LNG has committed its remaining available fleet to a series of recent deals.

In May, it announced a commitment with Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action to provide two FSRUs for 10-year projects to begin at the end of this year, serving a range of possible ports.

Then in June, TradeWinds reported that the 170,000-cbm FSRU Hoegh Galleon (built 2019) had been signed to Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) for a project to begin between 2023 and 2025.

The 170,000-cbm Hoegh Esperanza (built 2018) has already been named for the German project, and brokers point to the remaining slot as the obvious place for the liberated Hoegh Giant.

But Furu explained that although the freeing of the Hoegh Giant gives the company the right number of ships, it has yet to decide which is the optimal fit for which job.

“We have some optionality to swap the ships in our fleet around, so we haven’t allocated the Hoegh Giant yet,” he said.

The Hoegh Giant had been on a 10-year time charter to India’s Western Concessions that was to have begun running in 2021, with annual cancellation options starting in 2026.

But following litigation and settlement negotiations, the High Court of Bombay decreed the ship free to sail on 8 July as the result of a settlement between the parties. A week later, however, the court found the ship still stuck there, and ordered the local port authority to appoint a pilot and let it sail. AIS records show that happened the same day.

Western Concessions did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Furu declined to speculate about what plans Hoegh LNG’s former partner may now have for its long-heralded Jaigarh project.