SCF Group wins Marine Money’s 2019 Deal of the Year Award in the ‘Project Financing’ category
Sovcomflot (SCF Group) says it has received the ‘Project Financing Deal of the Year Award’ at the 2019 Deal of the Year Awards staged by Marine Money, an international maritime finance publication.
The award-winning transaction was an eight-year USD 176 million non-recourse credit facility, concluded by SCF Group’s and NYK Line’s joint ventures, with three banks: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation of Japan; Société Générale of France, and Shinsei Bank of Japan, in September 2019.
The facility was used towards refinancing two ice-class LNG carriers servicing the Sakhalin-2 project, Grand Aniva and her sister ship Grand Elena, which are jointly owned and operated by SCF Group and NYK Line.
Nikolay Kolesnikov, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Sovcomflot, said:
“SCF Group is honoured to be the recipient of Marine Money awards for the tenth consecutive year. We see this award as a tribute to SCF Group’s ability to conclude novel and sizeable credit facilities, and to retain access to a wide variety of financing sources and structures, at every stage of the shipping market cycle.”
Marine Money highlighted the non-recourse structure of the deal, which reflects Sovcomflot’s and NYK’s first-class reputation within the international financial markets, and the strength of the cash flows from the long-term time-charter contracts with Sakhalin Energy, the operator of the Sakhalin-2 project.
In addition, the timing of the deal allowed the borrowers to arrange the credit facility at an historically low interest rate.
Also of prime importance was the environmental element of the deal. This financing facility became one of the first of its kind, within the global shipping industry, to integrate provisions that enable lenders to comply with the Poseidon Principles, an initiative by leading banks that promotes environmentally responsible shipping. It commits the signatory banks to assess the environmental impact of the vessels they finance, and to disclose the climate alignment of their ship finance portfolios. The Poseidon Principles are consistent with the decarbonisation policies and ambitions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is one of the world's leading energy shipping companies, specialising in the transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, and liquefied gas, as well as the servicing of offshore oil and gas production. The Group’s fleet includes 146 vessels with a total deadweight of 12.6 million tonnes. More than 80 vessels have an ice class.
Sovcomflot is involved in servicing large oil and gas projects in Russia and around the world: Sakhalin-1; Sakhalin-2; Varandey; Prirazlomnoye; Novy Port; Yamal LNG, and Tangguh (Indonesia). The company is headquartered in Saint Petersburg, with offices in Moscow, Novorossiysk, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, London, Limassol, and Dubai.
SCF Group continually looks to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. In 2018, the Group pioneered the adoption of cleaner-burning LNG fuel as a primary fuel for large-capacity tanker shipping, and in general, for vessels not tied to fixed routes and set timetables.
The global professional community has recognised Sovcomflot’s accomplishments in decarbonisation on numerous occasions over the last years. This includes the Company receiving the Environmental Award – Individual Company at Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2018 and Company of the Year Award at Lloyd’s List Europe Awards 2019. Gagarin Prospect, the inaugural vessel in the SCF’s pioneering ‘Green Funnel’ series of LNG-fuelled crude oil tankers, won the 2019 Marine Propulsion Award for Ship of the Year and the Nor-Shipping Next Generation Ship Award.