NYK Line is being touted as the winner of a tender by German utility EnBW to secure four LNG carrier newbuildings worth more than $1bn.

Several brokers referenced the conclusion of a tender for vessels for a European utility with a lone shipowner in their reports amid a mass of talk in the market.

Some indicated that this referred to EnBW selecting NYK for the four berths reserved for this business at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

TradeWinds has been told the Japanese owner has secured charter deals on the four 174,000-cbm vessels that will run for periods of between 12 and 20 years.

Charter rates in the $90,000-per-day region are being quoted on the newbuildings, with a variety of estimates given.

The quartet is said to be scheduled for handover in 2026 and 2027.

NYK has been asked for confirmation and comment on the reports.

The apparent finalising of this latest LNG newbuilding tender is set to soak up more berths in a market where slots for LNG carriers delivering in 2026 are almost non-existent and those for 2027 are in increasingly short supply.

TradeWinds reported in March that EnBW, working with a major shipbroker, had secured the HHI berths at pre-negotiated prices of around $257m each and gone out to shipowners for offers.

Owners also had the option of submitting bids based on their own negotiated newbuilding berths. But with these in short supply and prices rising, it was unclear if many would have access to yard space.

Offers, which were requested to remain valid for two weeks, were due on 23 March and the business is expected to be wrapped up towards the end of this week.

EnBW, which has previously declined to comment on its shipping requirement, has been growing its LNG supply while also making an effort to switch to renewables.

In June 2022, it signed a sale-and-purchase agreement for 2 million tonnes per annum of LNG with growing US producer Venture Global LNG. They extended this to 2.5 mtpa in October last year.

The volumes will be sourced from Venture Global’s Plaquemines LNG and CP2 LNG projects.