LNG Ship at Sea

WFW advises Marubeni and SK Shipping on joint venture for ownership of two LNG vessels for long-term charter to TOTAL

17 June 2013

Marubeni and SK Shipping have established two jointly owned shipowning companies (the J/V Companies), which have signed shipbuilding contracts with Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea, time charter contracts with Total, and loan agreements with a club of financial institutions led by SMBC. The vessels are scheduled for delivery in January 2017 and October 2017.

Both ships will be engaged in the transportation of LNG from the Australian Ichthys LNG project and the Sabine Pass LNL terminal in Louisiana which is spearheading the liquefaction of US shale-gas.

SK Shipping, one of the leading Korean shipping companies, has a long track record of owning and operating LNG carriers.

Marubeni, one of the largest general trading companies in Japan, currently co-owns 14 LNG carriers and has made clear its commitment to expanding its LNG transportation business.

Partner Nigel Thomas led the WFW London team, which included partner Mark Tooke and solicitors George Macheras, Gary Walsh and Constance Daws.

WFW London partner Nigel Thomas comments: “We have been delighted once again to work with Marubeni and SK Shipping on a landmark transaction. This has been an excellent opportunity to utilise WFW’s extensive experience in all aspects of these cross-border multi-national projects: on the shipbuilding contracts, on the long term charters, on the joint venture arrangements and, of course, on the long term financing at a time when the banking markets are under pressure.”