Oslo and NYSE-listed Flex LNG Ltd has inked time charter-party agreements with Cheniere Marketing International for four LNG carriers with the option for a fifth
Under the agreements, Flex LNG will employ newbuild Flex Vigilant, which will be delivered to US LNG producer Cheniere ex-yard in May 2021. 174,000-m3 Flex Vigilant is under construction at South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries. Additionally, Flex LNG will deliver two of its existing LNG carriers to Cheniere during Q3 2021, and a third existing LNG carrier during Q3 2022. Cheniere will have the option to add a fifth LNG carrier from Flex LNG’s fleet during Q3 2022. The firm charter period for each of the four initial LNG carriers is between three and three and a half years, with an option for Cheniere to extend each by up to two additional years.
Flex LNG Management chief executive Øystein M Kalleklev noted key elements in securing the agreement with a “first-class charterer” like Cheniere were the vessels’ dual-fuel propulsion technology. “Our large and energy-efficient ships are particularly well suited for longhaul trade and align with Cheniere’s efforts to secure required shipping capacity while improving the environmental performance of its overall fleet.” Mr Kalleklev noted the contracts would add substantial revenue backlog for Flex LNG “in line with our communicated strategy of securing attractive term-employment for our ships when we think the time is right.”
With a relatively young fleet, built between 2018 and 2021, Flex LNG’s 13 ships range in cargo capacity from 173,400 to 174,000 m3, have low boil-off rates (BORs) and are fitted with either two-stroke, high-pressure, Diesel-cycle dual-fuel (MAN Energy’s ME-GI) or two-stroke, low-pressure Otto-cycle, dual-fuel (WinGD’s X-DF) engine technology. Such fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly technology, in combination with low BORs between 0.035 to 0.085%, make them well suited for large parcel, longhaul transportation.
The time charter-party agreements remain subject to final documentation and certain closing conditions in connection with the delivery and acceptance of the LNG carriers to Cheniere.
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