‘WilForce’ re-enters service

Thursday, 28 November 2019
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The Awilco LNG Group has recorded freight income for the third quarter this year of $6.7 mill, up from $3.9 mill reported for 2Q19. 

This rise was attributable to ‘WilPride’, which was delivered on an eight month contract on 9th July.

In addition, as a result of being struck by another vessel at the end of May this year, ‘WilForce’ was off-hire until repairs were completed in mid-September.

Loss of hire insurance at $65,000 per day compensated for some of the lost timecharter hire in the off-hire period, totalling $4.4 mill in 3Q19 and $1.1 mill in 2Q19.

EBITDA for the quarter was $7.4 mill.

Off-hire

Fleet utilisation for the quarter was 45%, compared to 56% in the previous quarter, due to ‘WilForce’s’ extensive off-hire following the collision.

Total expenses towards repairs of the machinery and collision damage to the ‘WilForce’ was $0.6 mill in 3Q19 and $5.6 mill in 2Q19. Corresponding hull & machinery insurance claims totalling $0.4 were recognised as other income in 3Q19 ($6 mill in 2Q19).

Total equity as at 30th September, 2019 was $102.6 mill, compared with $103.7 mill at the previous quarter end. Current liabilities were $274.1 mill, compared to $282.5 mill in 2Q19, of which $262.2 mill was related to the ‘WilForce’ and ‘WilPride’ financial lease liabilities and $4.7 mill provisions for repair of ‘WilForce’.

The repurchase obligations for ‘WilForce’ and ‘WilPride’ mature on 31st December this year, plus/minus 60 days in the Group’s favour.

On 2nd August, 2019 a term sheet for the refinancing of the two vessels was agreed and signed with CCB Financial Leasing. On 18th October, 2019 the facility was credit approved. This sale/leaseback facility has a 10-year tenor and is expected to enable a full take out of the company’s current sale/leaseback facilities at attractive terms.

The facility is expected to close in 4Q19/1Q20 subject to documentation and customary closing conditions.

In a later stock exchange filing, Awilco said it had agreed with other LNGC shipowners to discontinue discussions on establishing a consolidated LNG shipping structure.

The company said that it had contracted historically high earnings through the winter period. The ‘WilForce’ timecharter contract is estimated to contribute a monthly EBITDA of about $3.4 mill during the charter period to February next year.

Awilco’s two ships are expected to earn an average TCE of about $84,000 per day per vessel in 4Q19. For 1Q20 about 50 % of available days are booked at an expected TCE of about $95,000 per day per vessel.

Reduced costs, coupled with the expected strong market conditions over the next years, following a wave of new LNG production, heralds an exciting period for the company, it said

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