Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited (TEN) announced that it had signed a contract for the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carrier. The 150,000 cubic meter capacity vessel will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries
, and is scheduled for delivery in March of 2007. Today's contract represents TEN's first newbuilding order in the rapidly growing LNG market. TEN also expects to receive 6 suezmaxes and 6 product carriers between 2004 and 2007 and remains engaged in negotiations with another shipyard regarding two additional LNG carriers.
"The LNG market represents the next phase in the evolution of our Company," said Mr. Nikolas P. Tsakos, President and CEO of TEN. "Our entry into one of the fastest growing shipping segments in the global energy market coincides with a growing number of new export projects and importer construction of new regasification terminals. As a result, we believe that the growth in this segment will be substantial in the coming years. With this contract, TEN joins a select fraternity of shipowners who are actively pursuing this market."
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. imports of LNG are expected to increase by 58 percent between 2007 and 2010 as new regasification projects come on line. And, while LNG imports into the US doubled in 2003, this amount represented only 2 percent of U.S. natural gas demand, illustrating the potential for growth.