Norwegian shipping firm Flex LNG said that a unit of US LNG exporter Cheniere has declared its option to charter a fifth carrier under a deal signed last year.
Cheniere and Flex signed the charter deals in April last year for four LNG carriers, including an option for the fifth.
Now Cheniere has exercised that option to take on charter the 2020-built, 174,000-cbm Flex Aurora, according to a statement by the shipping company controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen.
Flex Aurora would start working for Cheniere under the 3.5-year time charter deal during the third quarter of 2022, Flex said.
In addition, the two firms agreed that the 2021-built, 174,000-cbm Flex Volunteer would be the fourth ship under the agreement.
Cheniere would take delivery of this ship mid-April 2022 rather than during third quarter of 2022 as originally agreed, Flex said.
The time charter with duration of 3.5 years has therefore been extended by about 2.5 months to facilitate early delivery of the ship to Cheniere.
Last year, Cheniere took delivery of 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.
These vessels will serve Cheniere under the charter deals with a minimum duration of between 3 and 3.8 years.
Flex added that the new time charter deals remain subject to certain closing conditions in connection with the delivery and acceptance of the LNG carriers to Cheniere.