Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping has purchased four LNG carriers previously owned by Russia’s Sovcomflot from Dutch ING Bank, according to shipping sources.
Idan Ofer’s EPS bought the vessels directly from ING who represented a consortium of European and international banks, sources told LNG Prime on Friday.
EPS paid about $700 million for these four LNG carriers.
Banks are selling vessels to comply with sanctions imposed by the UK and EU against Russia. EU banks and financial institutions must cut their ties with the sanctioned Russian companies including Sovcomflot by May 15.
ING and other banks such as KfW IPEX-Bank and Credit Agricole previously signed financing deals for the LNG carriers with Sovcomflot.
All of the four LNG carriers EPS bought from ING are on charter with a unit of LNG giant Shell.
Sister vessels SCF Mitre and SCF Melampus, both delivered by STX Offshore in 2015, have a capacity of 170,200 cbm.
The two other LNG carriers include the 174,000-cbm SCF Timmerman and SCF Barents, both built by South Korea’s Hyundai Samho.
One source said that CoolCo would be the technical manager of the four vessels.
EPS has a 40 percent stake in the new LNG shipping it has formed with Tor Olav Troim-led Golar LNG in December last year.
After that, CoolCo completed the purchase of eight LNG carriers from Golar.
With the new acquisition, EPS has added in total 12 LNG carriers to its fleet. In addition, it recently bought a stake in Norway’s Awlico LNG.
Besides LNG carriers, EPS is one of the biggest backers of LNG-powered vessels in the world and the company’s dual-fuel fleet includes containerships, car carriers, bulkers, and oil tankers.