Flex LNG, the Norwegian shipowner with a fleet of 12 modern vessels, has signed charters with Cheniere Energy of the US, for at least four of its carriers, and with all but one of its six current term charters set to expire in 2021-2022.
The new charters, pending any further agreements, are not set to significantly change the proportions of Flex’s fleet that operates on the spot and term charter markets, with the owner previously keeping a large section of its fleet onto the spot market.
“We are very pleased to enter into these agreements with Cheniere. They secure attractive employment for four, possibly five, of our ships with a first-class charterer,” said Øystein M. Kalleklev, Chief Executive of Flex LNG Management.
“Our large and energy efficient ships are particularly well suited for their long-haul trade and align with Cheniere’s efforts to secure required shipping capacity while improving the environmental performance of their overall fleet,” added Kalleklev.
“ Hence, this agreement makes very much sense for both parties, so we look forward to further developing our relationship in the years to come,” he explained.
“Lastly, these contracts add substantial revenue backlog to our company which is in line with our communicated strategy of securing attractive term-employment for our ships when we think the time is right,” stated the CEO.
Flex is scheduled to publish its first-quarter results on the 28th of May 2021.
All existing Flex LNG ships are large LNG carriers with a cargo capacity of approximately 173,400 to 174,000 cubic metre s and fitted with efficient dual-fuel two-stroke propulsion.
Flex LNG has signed the charter agreements with US operator Cheniere, which will receive two carriers from the owner in the third quarter of 2021 and another in the third quarter of 2022, with an option to take a fourth in the third quarter of 2022.
Cheniere will also take Flex LNG's sole remaining undelivered newbuild, the 174,000 cubic metres capacity “Flex Vigilant” when it is delivered by South Korea's Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in May.
The four firm charters are for 3-3.5 years, with charterer's option to extend each by up to two years.
Flex also has two carriers under long-term charters that are set to expire in the third quarter of 2021, both with Spain's Naturgy Energy.
Flex LNG also has six carriers operating on the spot market, which could potentially be used to fulfil these obligations instead.