Golar LNG Limited has received a firm USD 700 million underwritten financing commitment for the conversion of the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessel Gimi.
The financing has been provided to Gimi MS Corporation, owned by Golar LNG Limited with a 70% share, while Keppel Corporation’s First FLNG Holdings holds the remaining 30%. Available during construction, the financing has a tenor of 7 years post COD and a 12-year amortisation profile.
Under an agreement signed in February 2019, the unit will service the 20-year lease and operate contract, due to commence in 2022, on the Mauritania and Senegal maritime border as part of the first phase of BP’s Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project.
FLNG Gimi is designed to produce an average of approximately 2.5 million tons of LNG per annum, with the total gas resources in the field estimated to be around 15 trillion cubic feet.
Gimi MS also issued Keppel Shipyard with a final notice to commence full conversion works for FLNG Gimi. The total contract is worth USD 947 million and builds on the issuance of the limited notice to proceed in December 2018.
Separately, Golar LNG informed that project developers of the Croatian FSRU facility, LNG Hrvatska d.o.o. issued the company with a notice to proceed with the conversion and subsequent purchase of the 2005-built LNG carrier Golar Viking.
Conversion capex will largely be funded by stage payments from LNG Hrvatska under the agreement. After a robust vetting process Hudong has been selected as the yard to undertake the requisite conversion works. CSSC Leasing, an affiliate company of the yard, is expected to provide both conversion financing and bridging finance for the current vessel facility between yard entry, expected in the first quarter of 2020, and sale to LNG Hrvatska for EUR 159.6 million (USD 180.4 million) upon completion. Golar will also receive an annual fee to operate the FSRU for 10-years.
Additionally, Golar received an agreement from lenders of the FSRU Golar Tundra to extend the June 2019 maturing facility to June 2021. Having agreed a term sheet, good progress has also been made with respect to refinancing the December 2019 maturing LNG carrier Golar Arctic facility, the company added.