Sales talks are in progress on a two-year-old LNG carrier under the control of Russian shipowner Sovcomflot (SCF Group) with rumours emerging of what would be a new record price in the ongoing red-hot market for the sector.

Talk has been bouncing around the LNG market that a buyer is prepared to pay between $280m to $282m to secure the174,100-cbm SCF La Perouse (built 2020).

A variety of names and nationalities have been linked to the vessel including buyers based in the Lebanon, Libya, Turkey and Greece.

Brokers and owners following the vessel said a deal is on subjects but has yet to be concluded. But the planned purchaser remains blurred and it is unclear whether this sale will go through.

Sovcomflot has been contacted about the sales reports of the ship.

SCF La Perouse was built by Sovcomflot against a seven-year charter to French energy major TotalEnergies at a rate in the low $60,000s per day range.

Brokers said that for a prompt ship where vessels are earning rates in excess of $300,000 per day on spot and short-term business, the eye-watering price — described by one sale & purchase expert as “bonkers” — could stack up.

In May TradeWinds reported that La Perouse and two other Sovcomflot LNG carriers, the 170,000-cbm Pskov and 170,500-cbm Velikiy Novgorod (both built 2014) which had been under what was then Gazprom Germania’s control, had been put up for sale. But this could not be confirmed at the time.

Eagle industry eyes from owners through to charterers and traders have been scanning the LNG market for available LNG newbuilding slots, resales or secondhand buys as shipyards stand guard over their 2027-delivery berths and tonnage lists for 2023 tighten due to period fixing.

Three LNG carrier newbuildings contracted by Sovcomflot at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in January and July 2021 which were also fixed to TotalEnergies are being closely watched. These vessels are due for delivery in 2023.

Similarly two LNG carriers originally contracted by Sovcomflot at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering are attracting interest. The contracts on the vessels were cancelled by the yard but the shipbuilder is completing the duo for its own account, presumably for sale at a later date.