Flex LNG Secures USD 629 Mn Loan for Five Newbuilds

Flex LNGIllustration; Image Courtesy: Flex LNG

Bermuda-based LNG carrier owner Flex LNG will obtain a new USD 629 million financing for the five newbuilds scheduled for delivery in 2020. 

Earlier this month, the company received firm commitments from a syndicate of eleven banks and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) for the financing.

Specifically, the facility will be divided into a commercial bank loan of USD 250 million, a KEXIM guaranteed loan, funded by commercial banks, of USD 189.1 million and a KEXIM direct loan of USD 189.9 million.

“Having already executed USD 650 million in new financings during 2019, the new USD 629 million facility for the five newbuildings delivering in 2020 means have we secured long term funding for 11 of our 13 vessels, with comfortable remaining capex for the two vessels delivering in 2021,” Harald Gurvin, CFO of Flex LNG Management, commented.

“The new facility was significantly oversubscribed, with commitments from KEXIM and 11 leading international shipping banks. Attractive financing terms also mean attractive cash breakeven levels, giving substantial cash flow potential from our fleet of latest generation LNG carriers.”

The loan was announced in the company’s financial report for the third quarter of this year which shows that Flex LNG posted a net income of USD 0.5 million, compared to a net income of USD 1.2 million seen in Q3 2018.

The company’s revenues rose to USD 29.8 million in the third quarter 2019 from USD 19 million recorded in the corresponding three-month period last year.

“In line with our expectations, the freight market has become increasingly tighter in the second half of 2019 resulting in much more favourable market conditions despite low gas prices. Flex LNG has been very well positioned for the stronger market with ships available in the spot market as well as ships on variable rates linked to these freight rates,” Øystein M Kalleklev, CEO of Flex LNG Management AS, said.

During the third quarter, the company executed the USD 300 million sale and charterback transaction with Hyundai Glovis for the vessels Flex Endeavour and Flex Enterprise. Additionally, the company took delivery of its sixth newbuilding LNG carrier, Flex Courageous, in August. The LNG carrier was delivered by South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

In October, following the reporting period, Flex LNG Fleet Management received the document of compliance qualifying the company for in-house technical ship management services. The technical ship management for the first vessel is to be transferred to Flex LNG Fleet Management by the end of November 2019, with the remaining vessels scheduled to be transferred in early 2020. The company believes that transfer of the technical ship management will put Flex LNG in a better position “to attract longer-term business opportunities, as well as improving the ability to control total cost of ownership for the fleet”.

“We are today delivering results in line with guidance for third quarter and our fourth quarter is booked at considerable higher rates with revenue expectations of about USD 50 to USD 55 million. During the year we have also secured close to USD 1.3bn of attractive long-term financing and this together with our in-house ship management company means we are well positioned for the journey ahead,” Kalleklev concluded.

Flex LNG currently has six vessels on the water and an additional seven newbuildings under construction, which are planned for delivery between the second quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021.

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