Awilco inks refinancing deal for LNG carrier duo

Norway-based shipping firm Awilco LNG has signed a term sheet with an Asian leasing firm to refinance the company’s two 2013-built 156,000-cbm TFDE LNG carriers, WilForce and WilPride.

Awilco LNG said in a statement on Monday that the deal has been agreed and signed with a “major leasing company based in Asia”.

Subject to final credit and board approval, documentation, and customary closing conditions the company will utilize its purchase options under the existing financing facility to repurchase the vessels from CCB Financial Leasing, it said.

“The new financing is at par value of the outstanding debt and structured as a sale/leaseback similar to the current financing of the vessels at improved terms, reducing the company’s cost of finance,” it said.

Awilco LNG expects the transaction to close in the first half of 2024.

VesselsValue data suggest that the current market value of WilForce is about $156 million and WilPride about $158 million.

Awilco LNG recently reported a net profit of $3.3 million for the third quarter of this year compared to a net loss in the same period last year.

The firm also reported an all-time high first nine-months result of $23.4 million.

In November last year, Awilco LNG secured a new charter deal with a firm duration of about 18 months for WilForce. This contract started at the end of January 2023.

In June, the firm revealed a charter deal with a “leading European LNG importer” for a firm period of three years and WilPride serves this contract. This contract started in December last year.

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