Awilco LNG has found the right time charter deal.

The Oslo-listed owner announced on Friday a three-year contract beginning in December with a “leading European LNG importer” that it said would drive $26m of Ebitda into its coffers.

It said the charterer has the option to extend for up to two years, bringing the total period to five years.

Awilco LNG can nominate either of its vessels for the charter.

It operates two identical 156,000-cbm, 2013-built TDFE carriers, the WilForce and WilPride.

They have been trading in the spot market, and in May chief executive Jon Skule Storheill said he was hoping to capitalise on rising rates.

He said that as much of Europe turned away from Russian gas, tonne-miles decreased, holding down rates.

“The weakening in the market has now been reversed and so far in the second quarter we have seen the market gradually strengthen,” he said.

Storheill admitted the situation was still unclear and said his company would look for the right period deals in the future.

Since his comments, LNG spot rates have only strengthened.

Shipbroking giant Clarksons said a 160,000-cbm TFDE LNG carrier in May was averaging $64,750 per day in the spot market, rising to $88,500 per day on 1 June.

And rates have strengthened, with Spark Commodities estimating a similar ship trading in the Atlantic basin had breached six-figure earnings. Its Spark30S route rose by $3,000 to $102,500 per day on Wednesday.

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