Russian shipping company Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is taking out a $316m ten-year credit from three banks to finance the construction of two new ice-class LNG carriers.

The credit is being provided by ING Bank of the Netherlands, KfW IPEX-Bank of Germany and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) of Japan.

The carriers, Velikiy Novgorod and Pskov, are supplied on long-term contracts in Russia and internationally. They will be operated by Gazprom Global LNG and Royal Dutch Shell.

"This is the third successful international debt-financing accomplished by SCF Group in 2013."

SCF Group senior executive, vice-president and chief financial officer Nikolai Kolesnikov said: "This is the third successful international debt-financing accomplished by SCF Group in 2013, which further strengthens the Group’s liquidity position and, despite challenging conditions in the global financial and shipping markets, enables it to address its upcoming financial requirements."

The new vessels will be part of SCF Gas Carriers’ fleet and will have the ability to transport LNG all year round and operate in harsh, low temperature conditions. Having a cargo capacity of 170,000m³, they can transport to and from most of the existing global LNG terminals.

The Atlanticmax Ice2 (1C) class gas carriers feature a tri-fuel engine.

The Sovcomflot gas carrier fleet currently comprises six LNG and four LPG carriers, which will be expanded to 14.

Sovcomflot operates in the transportation of hydrocarbons by sea and in the provision of support services for off-shore shelf exploration and production of oil and gas. Its fleet includes 159 vessels with a combined deadweight of more than 12 million tonnes.

Image: ING Bank, KfW IPEX-Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have provided the credit to SCF to build two ice-class LNG carriers. Photo: courtesy of Sovcomflot.