Sovcomflot has signed on the dotted line for a new $319 million loan.
The company now has a 10-year credit facility with a consortium of leading European banks. ING is acting as the agent.
In a statement, SCF Group said that the money was going to be used to pay for a pair of new ice-class LNG carriers, the SCF Melampus and SCF Mitre which are expected to used by Shell Group.
The two ice-class vessels feature tri-fuel engines, a cargo capacity of 170,000 cubic metres and are equipped to operate in harsh conditions. Sovcomflot states that the vessels have been designed to be flexible for charterers who wish to transport LNG year round.
Nikolai Kolesnikov, Senior Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer, said: “We are delighted to have concluded a new long-term international financing agreement for SCF Group. This deal represents a major milestone for the company in 2014 and serves to demonstrate its continued access to the international financial markets.
"In the course of the last one and a half year SCF has arranged long-term bank financing in a total amount of over USD 700 million for its growing liquefied gas transportation business. This limited-recourse financing will further strengthen the Group’s liquidity position and enable it to address upcoming financial requirements. The major European banks participating in the deal have long-standing relations with SCF Group, and we value and appreciate their continued support and specialist expertise.”
The new vessels are expected to form part of Sovcomflot’s newly established company, SCF Gas Carriers.