MISC will get ENI's last two gas carriers
The Asian group will allegedly take over the LNG Lerici and LNG Portovenere, on which the Italian flag is being laid down
The last two gas tankers left in ENI's fleet – the LNG Lerici and LNG Portovenere – will be transferred Malta-based MISC, although both units will still be managed by the Italian group.
According to several market sources contacted by Ship2Shore, ENI finally opted for the Maltese shipping company whom they are currently formalizing the sale of the two gas carrier with.
Preliminary rumours anticipating ENI's intention to sell the last two units encompassed in LNG Shipping's fleet (65,000 cubic metres capacity each and respectively built in 1997 and 1998) started in autumn 2017 and were (indirectly) confirmed by San Donato Milanese-based corporation, when subsidiary LNG Shipping informed trade unions about their intention to sell these ships and switch workers to other jobs, during a meeting held in Confitarma headquarters last October.
Subsequently ENI put the two ships on the market, while simultaneously envisaging a charter-back contract which granted the Italian six-legged-dog group pre-emption right for the commercial management of the two gas carriers.
At the time they determined to sell their fleet, the LNG Portovenere was already chartered out Chinese Jovo, which subsequently also chartered in sister unit LNG Lerici (last August), right in the middle of the ongoing negotiation, which should be sealed in a couple of weeks.
Final short-list encompassed 3 operators, including Scandinavian Stena and MISC which was finally adjudicated the procedure.
A couple of weeks ago Genoa Harbour Master's website announced LNG Shipping had requested to dismiss the Italian flag for the LNG Lerici and LNG Portovenere, to register them in an extra EU register. In essence, ENI will completely give up on shipowning.