Flex enters new charter deals as LNG fleet count rises

Flex LNG, the shipping company controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen, has secured new charter deals as it prepares to take the delivery of another newbuild vessel.

South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering will deliver the 173,400-cbm Flex Artemis in August.

Following delivery, the vessel will go on a long-term charter to Clearlake Shipping, a unit of Geneva-based trader Gunvor Group.

The carrier is Flex LNG’s first ME-GI ship with dual high pressure compressors bringing boil-off rate down to 0.035% per day.

To remind, the Norway-based company company said last month it would take delivery of its first 2020 newbuild vessel Flex Aurora by the end of July.

The shipping company has in the meantime found work for the uncomitted carrier as well as for its other newbuilds.

Flex LNG’s CEO Øystein Kalleklev said during an investor webinar on Thursday that the company has secured fixed and variable charter deals for three carriers.

These are Flex Aurora and Flex Resolute, both with 173,400-cbm capacity, and the 174,000-cbm Flex Amber.

Two of these ships will be employed on a fixed charter while one will be on a variable hire.

“The earliest redelivery for any of these ships is the second quarter next year,” Kalleklev said.

The shipping company has six LNG vessels on the water. An additional seven ships are under construction at HHI and DSME including the Flex Artemis.

Flex has secured $1.7 billion in finacing for the construction of these 13 ships in the last two years.

The funding sources include banks, leasing firms and export credit agencies.

Out of this sum, Flex raised $910 million for the construction of its remaining seven newbuildings.

The company expects to take deliveries of these vessels between the third quarter 2020 and the second quarter 2021.

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