Russian shipowner Sovcomflot and partner NYK Line of Japan have signed a deal with Samsung Heavy Industries to build up to six LNG carriers for charter to gas giant Novatek.

The pair contracted to build a quartet of firm 174,000-cbm vessels and have also secured two options. The owners said they signed long-term time-charter contracts on the ships with Novatek Gas & Power Asia, a subsidiary of parent Novatek.