Belgian shipping line Exmar posts steady quarterly results while awaiting charters for two FLNG vessels

Friday, 29 October 2021
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Belgian shipping company Exmar, owner of the “Tango FLNG” vessel last deployed in Argentina, has returned steady first-half results and said it was still pursuing opportunities for the LNG production barge as well as for a floating storage and regasification unit.

Exmar gave details of the LNG developments as it posted a 23 percent increase in third-quarter gross earnings for the shipping division of $4.4 million compared to $3.6 million in the same three months of 2020.

The earnings for the infrastructure division, comprising the two floating LNG vessels, was negatively affected by the current unemployment of the regasification vessel, known as “FSRU S188”.

This is because the same period of 2020 was boosted by the recognition of a provision of $16.4M on uncollected revenues from Argentine energy company YPF on the “Tango FLNG” charter cancellation.

The earnings, however, did includes an early termination fee of $56.8M for the “FSRU S188” charter agreement by global commodities company Gunvor.

“Exmar’s marketing efforts for employment of ‘Tango FLNG’ confirm strong market interest in our liquefaction barge,” stated the Antwerp-based company.

“Current high oil and gas prices further increase the interest in ‘Tango FLNG’. Term sheet discussions are ongoing with various parties. The monthly settlement payments from YPF are diligently being honoured,” added Exmar in reference to the settlement accord with YPF.

“Following the termination of the charter party with Gunvor earlier this year, the search for employment for the ‘FSRU S188’ is ongoing,” stated Exmar.

“Technical and commercial discussions for several opportunities are ongoing,” it added.

Additionally, Exmar noted that the company’s only conventional LNG carrier, the “Excalibur”, remains under time charter to US company Excelerate Energy and is expected to be redelivered at the beginning of 2022.

“The current strong LNG product market and LNG freight rates give us confidence we will be able to secure further employment either trading or as a conversion candidate,” said the company.

Exmar has slowly withdrawn from the LNG market but its gas fleet still numbers 40 vessels, about half comprising liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tankers, as well 10 pressurized tankers and as some eight other ships, including very large gas carriers.

The company said it expected a further strengthening of its liquidity position in the next few months.

One of its two new VLGCs, the “Flanders Innovation”, was put into operation and the “Flanders Pioneer” is expected to be delivered at the end of the third quarter of 2021.

“The lease financing for both vessels has been arranged and for both a minimum five-year charter with Equinor ASA (Norway) has been signed,” added Exmar. 

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