A pair of LNG carrier newbuildings contracted by a Nigerian energy trader have been offered for sale by brokers with talk circulating that the resales may already have found a buyer.
TradeWinds has learned that the two ships are those ordered by Nigeria’s Bono Energy in February at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.
The yard’s parent Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering priced the order for the two 174,000-cbm ships at KRW 534.7 trillion ($447.1m) in total without naming the contracting party or detailing the delivery dates on the ships.
The price tag per vessel of $223.6m was labelled high at the time.
But in the last few days, it has emerged that shipowner buyers have been jostling for the newbuildings and are prepared to pay in the region of $226m to $228m for each of the LNG carriers.
As yet, however, it is unclear if sales of the vessels will move ahead.
In May, TMS Cardiff Gas paid a record price for membrane-type tonnage of $230.7m each for two LNG carrier newbuildings contracted at Samsung Heavy Industries. These vessels are due for delivery by March 2026.
The two Bono Energy vessels are scheduled for delivery dates in 2025.
Major LNG shipbuilders no longer have any berth availability for these dates. Slots in 2026 are also tight due to Qatar’s huge berth reservation deal on LNG carriers.
But with the market hungry for tonnage and demand for vessels forecast to grow over the next few years buyers are eager to get hold of any available slots, resales or modern tonnage.
It is unclear why the Bono Energy LNG newbuildings have come up for sale.
Those following the newbuildings said the financing for them had failed and there had been missed payment instalments on them. But this could not be confirmed.
Sources originally told this publication that the ships were ordered against charters with Nigerian National Petroleum Corp, which controls a lead 49% stake in the Nigeria LNG (NLNG) project.
More recently talk emerged that one of the ships was contracted against a memorandum of understanding with NLNG while the other was linked to Saudi Aramco.
But in February, NLNG denied being in talks over the LNG newbuildings with any party for its business or projects.