Avenir LNG to finalize financing for six small-scale LNG carriers being constructed in China yards

Tuesday, 12 May 2020
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Avenir LNG, the company owned by three Norwegian shipping firms and with six small-scale LNG carriers under construction in Asia, said it was obtaining debt financing to meet the remaining payments on delivery of the vessels.

Norwegian-listed company Stolt-Nielsen started up Avenir in 2015 and its two newer investors are Golar LNG and Höegh LNG, each with 22.5 percent to Stolt-Nielsen’s 45 percent.

“Avenir has signed a term sheet for a facility of up to $108.3 million, which management expects to be closed prior to 30 June 2020,” said a statement in the Avenir annual earnings just published.

“The shareholders have also committed to invest an additional $72M to fulfil the group's capital commitments,” it added.

“Failure of the shareholders to do this, could result in uncertainty over the group's ability to continue as a going concern,” they stated.

Avenir continues to develop its first LNG terminal on the Italian island of Sardinia along with an LNG distribution facility in the port of Oristano.

Avenir reported $1.05 million in revenues last year compared with $491,000 in the previous year from its existing customer in Sardinia.

Losses from continuing operations narrowed to $7.98M versus $10.43M in the previous year.

Avenir has four 7,500 cubic metres capacity LNG vessels and two 20,000 cubic metre capacity carriers on order.

The company reiterated in the annual report that its small-scale carriers were still on track for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

Keppel Marine of Singapore is scheduled to deliver two 7,500 cubic metre LNG vessels by June or July, from its affiliated yards in Nantong, China.

In 2021, Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering will deliver two more 7,500 cubic metres capacity carriers as well as two with 20,000 cubic metres capacity from their yards, also in Nantong.

Each of the ships is designed to perform safe ship-to-ship bunkering.

“The total cost for all ships will be approximately $280M, including site team costs and capitalised interest which are recorded in construction in progress,” said Avenir.

In October 2019, together with Malaysian shipping company, MISC Berhard, Avenir signed a term charter with Malaysia’s national oil and LNG production company Petronas.

The first 7,500 cubic metres capacity carrier will be based in Malaysia, enabling Petronas to provide bunkering to LNG-fueled vessels, plus transport services for small-scale terminals in the region.

Avenir announced another a term charter in November 2019 with Golar Power to deliver LNG using the second 7,500 cubic metres capacity vessel to various ports in Brazil, as well as providing ship-to-ship bunkering. 

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