August 10, 2023 [Hydrocarbon Engineering]- Crown LNG, a provider of offshore LNG liquefaction and regasification terminal infrastructure for harsh weather locations, has entered into a business combination agreement with Catcha Investment Corp.
Crown designs and plans to own and operate offshore LNG terminals in locations where onshore facilities are not feasible or desirable for reasons of harsh weather, safety, cost, or environmental impact.
Crown has the potential to enable stable, secure, year-round LNG supplies to growing markets and locations exposed to harsh weather conditions. In doing so, the company aims to expand the global market for LNG (particularly LNG supplied from the US) and contribute to lower carbon emissions in markets it serves by replacing coal with LNG. Crown’s bottom-fixed, gravity based structure (‘GBS’) design is also expected to ensure lower cost and a reduced environmental footprint versus a comparable land-based LNG terminal alternative.
Swapan Kataria, CEO of Crown, said: “This business combination with Catcha is a transformative step for accelerating Crown’s growth, with the aim to provide its investors with a stable, long-term return on their investment. Our targeted blue-chip potential customer base will reflect the strong and growing global demand for harsh weather LNG infrastructure, allowing for year-round operation to enable the global energy transition and ensure energy security by facilitating access to reliable natural gas supplies, as well as hydrogen, ammonia and power. The capital raised in this transaction will further strengthen our ability to execute on our diversified project pipeline in India, the UK, Vietnam, Canada, and other global markets.
Patrick Grove, Catcha, said: “Catcha is excited to be partnering with Crown. The LNG market is being driven by strong market tailwinds, including rising energy security concerns and the increasing use of natural gas as a transition fuel with a tenth of the emissions of coal fired plants. Crown will help to enable LNG access for under-served markets which have been traditionally ignored by existing operators. There is clearly a massive addressable market and use case in regions which experience harsh weather conditions, and we believe that Crown, with their industry experience and innovative culture, will be a leader in addressing that demand.
Crown’s GBS facilities are designed to rest directly on the seabed, after preparation and levelling. The rectangular concrete structure, built onshore in drydock, is then towed to location. A typical GBS contains two membrane tank compartments, which store the LNG temporarily after unloading, or prior to delivery onshore. This ‘LNG island’ offers greater reliability allowing operations year-round, including in harsh weather conditions, when compared with floating alternatives.
Currently, Crown is advancing development of two projects towards final investment decision (FID): Kakinada, on the east coast of India, and Grangemouth, in Scotland.
The Kakinada project, utilising GBS facilities, supports the Indian government’s target of increasing natural gas in the country’s energy mix from approximately 7% to 15% by 2030.
The Grangemouth project seeks to address the UK’s increasing drive for energy security post-Brexit and in the context of the Ukraine War’s impact on energy markets.
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