Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank have acted as joint arrangers for a US$685 million syndicated loan to Höegh LNG for the refinancing of two floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) that will form part of Germany's new gas import terminals.
Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) advised Höegh LNG on the refinancing. Stephenson Harwood advised Crédit Agricole CIB in its role as agent.
The loan will be used to repay existing loan facilities and for general corporate use and is split into two tranches, one per vessel. The refinancing of Höegh Esperanza has already taken place while that of Höegh Gannet is expected this March or April when its commissioning is completed.
Höegh LNG, one of the world's largest FSRU owners, has signed 10-year time charter contracts with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, for Höegh Esperanza and Höegh Gannet.
The 170,000 cubic metre Höegh Esperanza is already in use, serving Germany's first FSRU-based LNG import facility in Wilhelmshaven, on the North Sea coast. It will be operated by Uniper acting as agent on behalf of the German government.
The Höegh Gannet, also 170,000 cbm, arrived in Brunsbüttel in January, and will serve the Elbehafen LNG terminal. It is being operated by RWE.
The FSRUs are two of five vessels contracted by the German government to import gas following the cessation of pipeline gas supplies from Russia.