Maran Nakilat, a joint venture (JV) between Nakilat and Angelicoussis Shipping (ASGL) subsidiary Maran Gas Maritime, has signed a $662.4m refinancing agreement with Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and Barwa Bank.

The refinancing will help Maran Nakilat expand its fleet of LNG carriers to six vessels from four, with their delivery expected in early 2014, as well as increase Nakilat’s stake in the JV.

The two vessels to be added to the JV’s fleet are currently being built by the South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

Nakilat managing director Muhammad Ghannam said: "Nakilat’s financial strength allows us to expand our business and to further cement Nakilat’s leadership position in the global LNG transportation industry."

QIB Group CEO Bassel Gamal said: "The signing of this agreement confirms the bank’s strategy and commitment to providing financial Islamic solutions that meet the requirements of its institutional and corporate clients, and its contribution in supporting the national companies in line with Qatar vision 2030 to build a stronger economy."

Established in 2005, Maran Nakilat has a fleet of four LNG vessels, which are currently on long-term charter contracts with Qatari LNG producer RasGas.

Nakilat has a fleet of 56 wholly and part-owned LNG vessels leased on long-term contracts to QatarGas and RasGas.

Including the new ships, Maran Gas currently has nine LNG carriers under construction at DSME and eight more units at Hyundai Samho, all of which are scheduled for delivery by the second half of 2016.

Image: Executives of all parties at the signing of the $662m Murabaha refinancing agreement. Photo: Qatar Islamic Bank.