Greek shipowner Alpha Gas is being named as the company in talks with shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries to buy three LNG carriers under construction that were originally ordered by Russian shipowner Sovcomflot (SCF Group).

Several industry sources told TradeWinds that Alpha Gas, which is part of Anna Angelicoussis’ shipping interests, has fought off interest from a large number of interested parties on the trio of 174,000-cbm ships, which are being built at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.

The LNG carriers are due for delivery dates in 2023 and 2024.

Managers at Alpha Gas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Those following the vessels said the yard had put a price of $245m each on them. But one said discussions over the sale between Alpha and the yard have yet to be concluded and a final price agreed.

The price tag on the ships is expected to be slightly over $240m to reflect the last-done level paid by Capital Gas on its latest newbuildings contracted in June at $240m each.

Sovcomflot is expected to receive some proceeds from the sale.

Buyers hungry for LNG carriers have been circling the Sovcomflot newbuildings for some time.

The ships and one delivered vessel, the 174,100-cbm La Perouse (built 2020), were ordered against seven-year charters to TotalEnergies.

But the French energy major is understood to have cancelled the charters on all four vessels to comply with European sanctions against Russia.

Mid to long-term demand for LNG carriers is expected to remain high but shipyard berths are full through 2025, with only a few favoured customers being shown 2026 delivery slots.

In addition, owners and brokers said yards are refusing to discuss 2027 delivery positions.

The situation is making LNG resales, which up until recently have been relatively rare, very attractive.

Idan Ofer’s Eastern Pacific Shipping has been particularly active this year, snapping up two on-order units, contracted by Nigeria’s Bono Energy, while also buying four of Sovcomflot’s existing LNG carriers.

Alpha Gas is something of a surprise potential buyer for these keenly watched newbuildings.

The Greek owner currently owns five LNG carriers. Two of the vessels — the 173,400-cbm Energy Integrity and Energy Intelligence (both built 2021) — were chartered out from their deliveries to Russia’s Gazprom Marketing & Trading, which is now under the control of Gazprom Germanica.

Anna Angelicoussis’ companies appear to be in buying mode. Earlier this week, this publication reported that the owner’s tanker arm Pantheon Tankers had been linked to the purchase of eight product tankers under the control of BP Shipping.