CoolCo in discussions with charterers on newly 2024-delivered LNG carriers

Oslo-based CoolCo is in talks with ‘multiple potential charterers’ on new 2024-delivering LNG carriers.

The company is in discussions with the charterers seeking work for the newbuilds.

CoolCo had exercised its option to acquire two newbuild 2-stroke LNG carriers from affiliates of EPS, and is currently in discussions to forward fix the vessels on long-term time charters.

As revealed by the top management it “expects to do so well in advance of delivery at levels that reflect current market strength.”

It is also said by the company that their 2024 delivery date makes the vessels especially attractive, with comparable vessels ordered today only being delivered in the 2027/28 timeframe.

The newbuilds are scheduled to be delivered from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HHI) in Korea in September and December of 2024.

Each of the two newbuilds is being acquired for an amount of about $234 million. The initial option exercise price was $56.9 million per vessel, resulting in a total of $113.8 million paid to EPS on July, 3 2023.

The newbuilds, named Kool Tiger and Kool Panther, are expected to be funded with a combination of cash on hand, including cash that was recently released from the sale of the Golar Seal, and committed debt financing.

The ships have a cargo capacity of 174,000 cbm, a GTT mark III flex membrane cargo tank system, reliquification, air-lubrication and shaft generators.

Richard Tyrrell chief executive of Cool Company commented to the deal: “We look forward to welcoming these state-of-the-art vessels into the CoolCo fleet at a material discount to their current market value. The vessels’ best-in-class design and boil-off rate make them highly attractive to charterers who benefit from the ability to operate efficiently at a range of speeds with reduced emissions.”

Furthermore, he added that with the vast majority of the global LNG carrier orderbook already committed to liquefaction projects coming online in the years ahead, few, if any, modern LNG carriers are expected to be available for time charter employment during the late 2024 window when the vessels deliver.