Russian maritime shipping firm Sovcomflot has secured a $297m credit facility from three global banks to support its LNG vessels financing needs.

The credit line with a ten-year repayment term has been offered by ING Bank, KfW IPEX-Bank, as well as Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank.

Sovcomflot intends to use the proceeds for pre and post delivery financing of two new-generation 174,000m³ Atlanticmax LNG carriers. Equipped with a slow-speed, dual-fuel X-DF diesel engine and gas boil-off partial liquefaction system, the vessels will be deployed to serve Shell’s needs under a long-term charter agreement.

The first of these vessels is expected to be delivered during the second half of next year and the rest are planned for the first half of 2021.

Sovcomflot said that the new vessels will boost its liquefied gas carrier fleet to 16.

Sovcomflot executive vice-president and CFO Nikolay Kolesnikov said: “We very much value the involvement of these three prominent lenders in this deal, which was accomplished in direct continuation of a similar LNG financing concluded with these banks in November 2018, reflecting the banks’ long-term and strong commitment to SCF Group.

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“With the conclusion of this deal, the group has addressed in full its capital expenditure funding requirements for the next two years.”

“With the conclusion of this deal, the group has addressed in full its capital expenditure funding requirements for the next two years.”

The latest agreement comes after a similar $149m credit facility signed in November last year, between SCF Group and the three banks.

The money was provided to finance the construction of an LNG carrier, which will operate on long-term charter to Total.

Sovcomflot manages a fleet of 147 vessels with a total deadweight of over 12.8 million tonnes.