Belgium's Exmar is to receive $150m from Argentinian charterer YPF after it settled a dispute over the floating liquefaction vessel Tango FLNG.

The shipowner said the Argentinean company has already paid $22m as part of the deal to resolve a row over the early termination of a charter for the unit.

The rest will come over 18 months, backed by "adequate financial security", Exmar added.

The deal means Exmar is now likely to be able to tap a loan agreement with Bank of China and Deutsche Bank for an extra $40m relating to the Tango FLNG.

The vessel can produce 0.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG and is now available for other projects.

"The FLNG’s immediate availability, proven track record and operational experience are the right elements to rapidly unlock new markets for gas exports," Exmar said.

The company added that commercial leads for new employment are actively being pursued.

Work halted in June

YPF declared force majeure on the contract in June, claiming the Covid-19 pandemic both worldwide and in Argentina had hindered its ability to perform its obligations under the agreements.

Exmar had previously said it was seeking to recover $30.3m was owed by the charterer.

Last month, the company revealed that part of an €18m loan ($21.3m), granted by KBC, BNP Fortis and Belfius, has been suspended due to the halting of charter payments by YPF for Tango FLNG.

The barge-based unit was the success story Exmar had been waiting for after several years of ill-fated investments and problems.

10-year deal scrapped

YPF chartered the unit in November 2018 for 10 years under a tolling agreement relating to LNG production.

A first cargo was exported a little over a year ago, with the LNG floater producing around five shipments in total by June.

Exmar made a provision for $17.7m of the $30.3m owing from YPF in its first-half accounts.

Net profit in the six months to 30 June was $4.4m, against a loss of $7.8m in the same period of 2019.

The shipowner remains locked in arbitration with trader Gunvor over a charter deal for a floating storage and regasification barge.