Norway-based IM Skaugen has signed a long-term contract to charter three of its multi-gas carriers to an unnamed small-scale LNG venture in Africa that needs gas for power generation, according to a report on LNG World Shipping News.

Skaugen will not confirm yet where the project is based, who has chartered the vessels or where in Africa - but some observers believe the project may be in South Africa. Chief financial officer Bente Flø told LNG World Shipping News that the vessels will switch from the Nordic LPG trades and will take position off Africa this spring.

The news moves Skaugen closer to its ambition to switch from becoming an LPG-oriented company to focus on LNG through its Norgas business unit. In 2015, it bought two 12,000m³ LNG carriers, supplementing its fleet of four 10,000m³ LNG-capable multigas vessels, and announced its plan to target small-scale LNG ventures around the world.

The three vessels will operate a shuttle service to deliver gas to the plant. Skaugen will provide floating storage support, storage and offloading of LNG to the client, which is involved with two new power plants. Skaugen will also project manage a virtual pipeline, sourcing LNG supply and delivering the gas.

Ms Flø declined to say where in Africa the project is based. One contender is South Africa, where Siemens has been linked to plans for the country’s first gas-to-power venture. Last year, South Africa launched a Gas Industrialisation Unit, to drive a national 3,726MW gas-to-power programme.

Analysts also see strong prospects for gas-to-power projects in Namibia, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Morocco.