John Fredriksen’s Flex LNG is launching phase two of a refinancing that will increase liquidity by at least $100m.

The move will see loans refreshed on seven remaining LNG carriers following the completion of the $855m phase one launched last November.

The Oslo-listed owner, led by chief executive Oystein Kalleklev, said the balance sheet optimisation programme will add to liquidity of $285m as of 30 June.

The company is already releasing $137m of cash through phase one when the final unit of six is refinanced in the third quarter.

“We are now planning to refinance the remaining seven ships where we expect to be able to obtain improved terms while at the same time raising net cash of $100m,” Flex LNG said in an update on Wednesday morning.

As part of the new programme, the lease of the 174,000-cbm Flex Enterprise (built 2018) will be terminated before the end of September.

“We are currently assessing alternatives to the $125m accordion facility under the $375m bank loan, given the long-time charter attached to this vessel,” the shipowner said.

The 174,000-cbm Flex Amber (built 2020) is financed under a facility maturing in 2030.

Flex LNG is examining lease financing for the gas carrier this year.

Four more vessels are financed under an export credit agency agreement with Kexim in South Korea.

Financing to be amended

The bank tranche of this arrangement expires in 2025.

Flex LNG said it could amend or extend the existing deals.

Last year, the owner said the phase one refinancing was done at improved interest terms given the increased backlog and improved outlook in the market.

In June the company secured new long-term charter deals for three of its LNG carriers, giving a total of 24 years of cover on the trio.

A “supermajor” charterer believed to be Chevron replaced existing variable time-charters on two of the vessels with seven-year fixed hire contracts.

And a “large global trading company” agreed a new 10-year fixed-rate charter on a third carrier.