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Exmar, Excelerate Team to Purchase Fourth LNG Regasifying Tanker

Excelerate Energy LP., operator of an offshore LNG port in the Gulf of Mexico, and Belgium-based Exmar announced recently they have entered into a long-term agreement to purchase a fourth liquefied natural gas regasification vessel (LNGRV).

The vessel will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd and will be named the Explorer. Exmar will hold an 80% interest in the Eplorer, while Excelerate Energy will own the remaining 20%.

The vessel will be constructed using the membrane containment system together with Excelerate's Energy Bridge technology and will have a capacity of approximately 150,900 cubic meters with delivery in the first quarter of 2008.

Excelerate said it anticipates using the ship to deliver regasified LNG to the Gulf Gateway -- its Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Port located 116 miles off the Louisiana coast (see Daily GPI, April 7). In addition, Excelerate said the ship will also help to support its recent application to construct a NorthEast Gateway -- a Deepwater Port to be located offshore in Massachusetts Bay, near Boston (see Daily GPI, June 20).

Energy Bridge is an innovative system, whereby a standard LNG vessel is customised to convert liquefied natural gas to vapor onboard the ship. Then, utilising proven buoy technology that has been successfully deployed for more that a decade in the harsh North Sea environment, the gas flows through lines connected to the ship and linked to underwater pipelines located offshore.

The technology was successfully proven in March of this year when the first LNGRV vessel, the Excelsior, discharged LNG into the Gulf Gateway Deepwater Port. With this further order, the Energy Bridge operation will comprise four LNGRVs. In addition to the Explorer and the Excelsior there is the Excellence, which delivered in May of this year, and Excelerate, due for delivery in October 2006.

Exmar is one of the largest independent operators of gas tankers in the world, presently with a diversified fleet of 65 ships ranging from 150,900 cubic meter LNG carriers down to 3,200 cubic meter pressurised LPG carriers. Excelerate is a liquefied natural gas shipper and marketer based in The Woodlands, TX.

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