DIF has joined forces with investors to build and own liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, the first such move by an infrastructure fund and one that gambles on the rising global demand for LNG.
The Schiphol Airport-headquartered infrastructure fund said in a statement on Thursday (21 November) that it has partnered with liquefied petroleum gas shipper Geogas Maritime and French fund manager Access Capital Partners to build five LNG carrying vessels.
The joint venture, which also includes Japanese logistics company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), has secured agreements to transport LNG on behalf of two European utilities, the names of which have not been disclosed, a source close to the process said.
The five vessels will transport fuel for the two companies across the world and will primarily serve French LNG terminals, including Total and Elengy’s Fosmax terminal near Marseille, added the source. Total is currently selling its 27.5% stake in Fosmax, with binding bids due in early December.
In recent years, there has been a significant growth in the amount of LNG traded globally, with last year setting yet another record. According to the International Gas Union’s 2019 world LNG report published in April, the amount of LNG which was traded in 2018 was a record amount for the fifth consecutive year, with 316.5 million tonnes of the gas traded, a 9.8% year-on-year increase on 2017. A DIF spokesperson said that the LNG market is one of the fastest growing markets in the global energy sector.