Norway's Höegh LNG is in talks to supply more of its floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) to several European countries seeking alternatives to Russian gas, its CEO said.
The sharp drop in piped Russian gas exports to Europe in the wake of the Ukraine war has resulted in a dash for FSRUs to allow diversification with liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.
Höegh LNG has already committed five vessels, half of its FSRU fleet, to European projects, and combined they will provide 25-35 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year of regasification capacity next year, Erik Nyheim said in an interview.
"We are in concrete discussions on both government-sponsored and commercial projects," he told Reuters, adding that Europe will need more gas than the already announced volumes to help it secure sufficient supplies in future.
Poland has said it is planning a second FSRU terminal and the Netherlands is looking to expand its LNG import capacity.
Nyheim declined to say who the customers may be, but said talks involved "several countries".
The Independence FSRU has been deployed in Lithuania since 2014, while earlier this year Höegh LNG signed ten-year charters for two other FSRUs with the German government.
The Höegh Esperanza arrived at the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven on Thursday ahead of the LNG terminal's official opening on Saturday.
From January, the Höegh Gannet will start operations in Brunsbuettel on Germany's North Sea coast, Nyheim said, adding it was swapped from the initially planned vessel Höegh Giant to allow for more capacity.
The firm is also providing its Neptune FSRU to a privately funded Lubmin FSRU project on the German Baltic coast, with the vessel just pulling into the port on Friday.
The Neptune, as well as Höegh LNG's Cape Anne FSRU, have been under a 20-year-charter with France's TotalEnergies since 2009 and 2010, Nyheim said.
"We expect (the Cape Anne) to come to Europe as well sometime next year for another European country, but I cannot disclose which one yet," he added.
(Reuters - Reporting by Nora Buli; Editing by Alexander Smith)