Exmar spreads the net

Exmar has tapped three new banks in tying up financing for what it claims is the world’s first floating liquefaction unit.

IFC and China EXPORT-IMPORT Bank (Exim) have combined to cough up $280m for the newbuilding, in a pact which also includes The US EXPORT-IMPORT Bank.

Miguel de Potter, CFO of Exmar, said: “We are very pleased to start a new relationship with those three institutions and will benefit from their extensive knowledge of the energy industry to further capitalize on this relation.

“This floating liquefaction barge is a technological breakthrough and we hope to be able to convince other clients to develop their gas reserves in the near future through this technology.”

Exmar is building the vessel at Wison Heavy Industries and has a charter in place with Pacific Rubiales Energy which will see the unit employed off Colombia’s north coast.

As TradeWinds reported yesterday Exmar was one of five companies to snap up loans from Exim in deals worth $1bn.

de Potter tells TradeWinds the company has an existing relationship with many commercial banks, with the majority of its borrowing with Nordea and DNB.

He says given the new technology involved in this project it was tricky to tempt commercial lenders on board despite what the company sees as very limited risk.

In addition Exmar specifically wanted financing which was closely allied to the 15-year contract in place for the vessel, he explains during a telephone interview.  

It completes a busy week in the headlines for Exmar following the announcement of a new joint-venture with Teekay LNG Partners.

The pair linked up in the mid-size LPG segment with an initial fleet of 23 ships.