CoolCo secures another LNG carrier charter deal, managed fleet grows

LNG carrier operator CoolCo, formed by Tor Olav Troim’s Golar LNG and Idan Ofer’s Eastern Pacific Shipping, has secured another charter deal for one of its carriers while it boosted its managed fleet as well.

The firm said in April it had completed completed the purchase of all eight TFDE vessels from Golar as part of a deal revealed in December.

CoolCo said then it had chartered a vessel for 12 months at a rate of around $120,000 per day.

“We had two open ships in April, one of which we fixed at $120,000 per day. The other one we fixed on a multi-month charter with an increasing rate from $60,000 to more than $100,000 per day,” Golar’s chief executive and interim CEO of CoolCo, Karl Fredrik Staubo, said on Tuesday during the company’s first-ever results conference call.

Staubo, who will be replaced by Hoegh LNG’s Richard Tyrrell as CEO, said CoolCo signed the first charter deal with a “European partly state-owned counterpart”, but he did not reveal additional information.

Charter rates rising

He said that CoolCo had achieved average commercial TCE rate of $56,000 per day during the first quarter of this year.

Seasonal weakness in two spot linked charters impacted the rate, but the firm received additional revenue from management contracts on additional 20 vessels.

Moreover, the company’s current contractual revenue backlog currently stands at $320 million, including about $90 million in backlog extension options. Out of these, about 80 percent are based on fixed rates and 20 percent on floating rate charters.

“We are encouraged by the development of the market where current TFDE charter rates for 1-3 year terms are currently being discussed between $100,000 and $150,000 per day,” Staubo said.

20 managed vessels

Staubo confirmed during the call that CoolCo now technically manages the four LNG carriers EPS bought from Dutch ING Bank.

As previously reported by LNG Prime, EPS paid about $700 million for the four LNG carriers previously owned by Russia’s Sovcomflot.

All of the LNG carriers are on charter with a unit of LNG giant Shell.

EPS renamed these vessels to Kool Orca, Kool Firn, Kool Boreas, and Kool Baltic.

Besides these four vessels, CoolCo manages seven more LNG carriers and nine FSRUs, mainly owned by US LNG player New Fortress Energy.

The managed vessels also include LNG Croatia FSRU, Golar Tundra FSRU, and Golar Arctic.

Golar LNG just revealed it had sold Tundra to Italy’s Snam for $350 million, while it signed a deal with the same firm for the conversion of Golar Arctic into an FSRU to serve Snam’s project in the port area of Portovesme, Sardinia.

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