Flex, Cheniere extend charters for LNG carrier trio

Flex LNG has extended charter deals for three carriers that are serving a unit of US LNG exporting giant Cheniere.

The firm controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen charters in total 5 LNG carriers out of its 13 vessels to Cheniere.

The three vessels in question are the 2021-built 174,000-cbm Flex Vigilant, the 2018-built 173,400-cbm Flex Endeavour, and the 2018-built 174,000-cbm Flex Ranger.

Prior to this agreement, the three ships had about six years in aggregate of remaining firm charter period, and the new agreement extends the charter periods for up to an additional 19 years in aggregate, Flex said in a statement on Wednesday.

Under the deal, Cheniere Marketing International (CMI) early declared the original 1+1-year optional periods for all the three vessels.

Additionally, Flex LNG and CMI have agreed to an extension of the existing time charter agreements for Flex Endeavour and Flex Vigilant.

The new period is for up to 1,800 days (additional about 5 years) for both Flex Endeavour and Flex Vigilant, Flex said.

63 years of contract backlog

The minimum firm extension period for Flex Endeavour is 1,300 days from Q1-2027 to Q3-2030.

In addition, CMI has a 500-days extension option to be declarable in Q2-2024 for the period Q3-2030 to Q1-2032.

In the event CMI declares this 500-days option, the firm will also have the option to extend Flex Endeavour for a further one-year period from Q1-2032 to Q1-2033.

Moreover, the minimum firm extension period for Flex Vigilant is 1,600 days from Q2-2026 to Q4-2030.

CMI has a 200-days extension option to be declarable in Q3-2023 for the period Q3-2030 to Q2-2031.

In the event CMI declares this 200-days option, it will also have the option to further extend Flex Vigilant for a two-year period from Q2-2031 to Q2-2033.

The Flex Ranger will thus be redelivered to Flex in the period between March or April 2027 after completing its original 5.5-year time charter with CMI.  

“Following this agreement our minimum contractual backlog is about 63 years or about 5 years on average per ship. As part of the agreement, we also have a firm redelivery slot for the Flex Ranger in early 2027 which is then our first fully open ship,” Flex LNG’s chief Øystein Kalleklev said in the statement.

“This means we can market Flex Ranger for new business opportunities as this ship has an earlier redelivery than the delivery slots that yards today can offer for a newbuilding,” he said.

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