Qatari LNG transport company Nakilat has taken the full ownership of four Q-Flex LNG carriers from its joint-venture partner, International Seaways (INSW).
The move follows the execution of a sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition of the remaining 49.9% ownership interest in these vessels from the US-based tanker company INSW.
The LNG carrier quartet has been sold to Nakilat for USD 123 million in cash, International Seaways said in a separate statement.
“This important transaction positions INSW to further our capital allocation strategy. Following our success growing and renewing our fleet, deleveraging and returning cash to shareholders remain our top priorities,” Jeff Pribor, CFO of INSW, explained.
As informed, the acquisition brings the total number of vessels wholly-owned by Nakilat to 29 LNG vessels, out of the company’s overall fleet of 74 LNG and LPG vessels.
With a cargo-carrying capacity of 217,000 cbm each, the four LNG carriers — Tembek, Al Hamla, Al Gattara, Al Gharrafa — have been operated and managed in-house by Nakilat’s ship management arm, Nakilat Shipping Qatar Limited (NSQL), since 2014. This is in addition to the other 10 LNG and 4 LPG carriers under NSQL management.
“The 100% ownership acquisition of these four vessels comes as part of Nakilat’s long-term strategy to capitalize on such strategic investment opportunities,” Abdullah Al Sulaiti, Chief Executive Officer of Nakilat, commented.
“These vessels are chartered to our long-standing partner Qatargas… Owning the vessels that we manage allows Nakilat to consolidate its fleet, provides greater operational flexibility and optimization of resources.”
Nakilat’s LNG shipping fleet comprises 14 Q-Max, 31 Q-Flex and 24 conventional vessels — including four newbuilds. The company also owns four LPG and one FSRU unit.