Golar LNG Replaces JV Head Amid Graft Allegations
LNG vessel owner Golar LNG reported on September 29 that its Hygo Energy Transition unit had appointed a new CEO Paul Hanrahan, after the resignation of former head Eduardo Antonello, who stands accused of bribery by Brazilian prosecutors.
Antonello is stepping down immediately, "to protect and isolate Hygo from any misleading interpretation caused by recent allegations ... for actions taken prior to his work for Hygo," Golar LNG said. Antonello was recently implicated in a plea deal as part of Brazil's long-running 'Car Wash' investigation. 'Car Wash' began in 2014 as a money-laundering probe but was broadened to cover allegations of corruption at national oil company Petrobras, where executives allegedly accepted bribes in return for awarding construction contracts at inflated prices.
Hygo is a joint venture formerly known as Golar Power between Golar LNG and US investment firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. It was set up in 2016 to develop, own and operate integrated LNG-based transportation, downstream solutions and associated terminal and power generation infrastructure. It was due to hold an initial public offering but this was postponed in late September.
Hygo has also agreed to terminate a preliminary deal reached in July to supply LNG to Norsk Hydro's Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil from a planned LNG import terminal in Barcarena, Golar LNG said. However, it is still committed to the terminal's construction, which Golar LNG said would significantly reduce energy costs in the industrial region.
In another setback, Petrobras recently disqualified Hygo from taking part in a tender to lease its 20mn m3/day LNG import terminal in Bahia state.