Norton Rose Fulbright advises on $1.2 billion FLNG Hilli Episeyo financing

Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright said it has advised Fortune Lianjiang Shipping, an indirect subsidiary of shipping conglomerate CSSC, on the $1.2 billion financing and delivery of the world’s first converted floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) production vessel Hilli Episeyo.

Norton Rose Fulbright advised Fortune Lianjiang Shipping under a sale and leaseback agreement between Fortune Liangjiang Shipping as lessor and Golar Hilli Corporation as bareboat charterer, supported by Golar LNG Limited.

Pre-delivery financing agreements were put in place in 2015, whereby Fortune Lianjiang Shipping part-financed the FLNG conversion works, backed by a $840 million senior loan provided by China Development Bank Corporation.

The Marshall Islands-flagged FLNG production vessel was accepted under its liquefaction tolling agreement with Anglo-French oil and gas company Perenco and Cameroon’s state-owned Societe Nationale des Hydrocarbures on 4 June 2018, and subsequently delivered to Fortune Lianjiang Shipping on 20 June 2018.

Following delivery, Fortune Lianjiang Shipping took full ownership of the vessel and a bareboat charter with Golar Hilli Corporation became effective.

The vessel is already fully operating off the coast of Cameroon and the first of its cargoes has arrived in China.

The Norton Rose Fulbright team advising on the lease finance aspects of the deal was led by Singapore-based partner Ben Rose, supported by of counsel Sue Ann Gan and associates Jaye Bhogal and Sophie Polisena.

Hong Kong-based partner Jonathan Silver and senior associate Georgina Axon advised Fortune Liangjiang Shipping and CSSC (Hong Kong) Shipping Company Limited in relation to the senior loan with China Development Bank Corporation. Of counsel Sung-Hwan Choi provided Marshall Islands law advice.

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