South Korea’s largest bulk shipper STX Pan Ocean succeeded in obtaining a sizeable loan from a group of domestic and overseas lenders to finance new vessel orders. STX Pan Ocean announced on Friday that it held a signing ceremony at the Millennium Hilton Hotel in Seoul the day before, for the $510 million syndicated loan offered by nine key banks.
The loan will be used to build 20 pulp carriers for the 25 year $5.0 billion contract signed with Brazil’s Fibria Celulose – the world’s largest pulp maker. The loan of $510 million will cover 70% of total expenses, which amounts to 16 out of 20 vessels. Funding for the remaining four vessels will be secured gradually, at a later date.
STX Pan Ocean awarded a $912 million contract to STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. in December to build 20 57,000- deadweight vessels at its yards in Jinhae, South Korea and Dalian in China.
The syndicated loan was offered by nine banks – the Korea Export-Import Bank of Korea, China Development Bank Corp, ABN Amro Bank, DnB NOR Bank, Deutsche Schiffsbank, BNP Paribas,, ING Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Credit Industriel et Commerciel.
By successfully financing the purchase of new pulp vessels, STX Pan Ocean lifted the cloud over its funding uncertainties. Meanwhile, the long-term contract will allow the company to further streamline and reinforce its profit structure, starting 2012.
Source: panocean, September 9, 2011