Polish energy company ORLEN announced on Thursday (19 October) that an additional two LNG carriers “Saint Barbara” and “Ignacy Łukasiewicz” are planned to enter sea service by the end of the year.
The vessels’ naming ceremony took place at the Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries shipyard in Mokpo, South Korea on Thursday.
“The latest additions to the ORLEN Group’s fleet of gas carriers mark a significant milestone in advancing Poland’s energy independence and expanding our footprint in the global liquefied natural gas market. Our resolute commitment to diversifying gas imports, primarily through LNG supplies, has been a resounding success. This strategic approach has facilitated our shift away from Russian gas, allowing us to weather the challenges of the European energy crisis. Throughout this period, we have honed capabilities that will underpin our continued efforts to diversify gas procurement sources, meeting the needs of our customers in Poland and the broader region,” said Daniel Obajtek, CEO and President of the Management Board of ORLEN.
“Saint Barbara” pays homage to the patron saint of miners, oil and gas workers, while “Ignacy Łukasiewicz” honours the pioneering figure in the world oil industry, an illustrious inventor, industrialist and advocate for Poland’s independence, ORLEN said in a press release.
Crafted by Korean manufacturing company Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, the vessels will operate under a long-term charter agreement with shipowner Knutsen OAS Shipping.
“Natural gas, as a strategic resource, plays an essential role in serving households and supporting the chemical industry, but it also remains a linchpin for an efficient and secure energy transition. Our own fleet of LNG vessels has expanded the ORLEN Group’s logistical capacity, strengthening the reliability of supplies while reducing transport costs,” added Mr Obajtek.
Once integrated into the fleet, the gas carriers will have a dual purpose of accommodating both long-term contracts and spot contracts, based on the Free-On-Board (FOB) delivery terms, whereby the ORLEN Group, as the buyer, will be responsible for collecting and transporting the cargoes.
ORLEN’s first two LNG vessels “Lech Kaczyński” and “Grażyna Gęsicka” were deployed earlier this year, delivering their inaugural LNG shipments to Poland in March and June, respectively. An upcoming shipment by “Grażyna Gęsicka” is expected to arrive in late October or early November this year.