London, 7 December 2014. OAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is pleased to announce that it has signed a new USD 319 million 10 year credit facility with a consortium of leading European banks with ING acting as Agent. The funds will be used towards financing two new ice-class LNG carriers SCF Melampus and SCF Mitre, which will operate on long-term contracts with the Shell Group.
The new high-spec Atlanticmax Ice2 (1C) class gas carriers feature a tri-fuel engine, a cargo capacity of 170, 000m³ and are equipped for operating in harsh and low temperature conditions. The vessels’ design is optimised to provide the utmost trading flexibility to their charterers, as they are able to transport LNG year round to and from most of the world’s existing LNG terminals.
The project facility has a limited recourse structure and a favourable long-term tenor, as well as competitive pricing, reflecting the robustness of the deal structure, the stability of the charter hire revenue stream and cash flows, and the high credit quality of the charterer. The vessels will form part of Sovcomflot’s recently established company SCF Gas Carriers Ltd., the Group’s dedicated vehicle for its expanding gas transportation business.
Nikolai Kolesnikov, Senior Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer, said:
“We are delighted to have concluded a new long-term international financing agreement for SCF Group. This deal represents a major milestone for the company in 2014 and serves to demonstrate its continued access to the international financial markets. In the course of the last one and a half year SCF has arranged long-term bank financing in a total amount of over USD 700 million for its growing liquefied gas transportation business. This limited-recourse financing will further strengthen the Group’s liquidity position and enable it to address upcoming financial requirements. The major European banks participating in the deal have long-standing relations with SCF Group, and we value and appreciate their continued support and specialist expertise.”