SFL splashes $1 billion on five LNG dual-fuel containerships

Bermuda-based shipowner and charterer SFL Corporation has placed an order for five liquified natural gas (LNG) dual-fuel containerships.

Illustration; Courtesy of TMC

As informed, the 16,000 TEU container vessels will have LNG dual-fuel propulsion and the latest features in fuel efficiency and cargo intake optimization. They will be built at an aggregate construction cost of approximately $1 billion.

The company did not reveal details regarding the shipbuilding company.

“This marks another accretive milestone investment for SFL and will add five large container vessels to our fleet. With these vessels delivered, we will have 11 LNG dual-fuel vessels, and it demonstrates our commitment to continue expanding our investment focus to assets with a lower carbon footprint whilst ensuring significant visibility through 10-year firm charters to an investment grade counterparty,” Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of SFL Management AS, said in a comment.

Furthermore, SFL has agreed to a minimum of 10-year time charters with a “leading liner company” from delivery, which is expected to add approximately $1.2 billion to its charter backlog.

According to SFL, there will be an option to extend the charters for another two years, and purchase options at the end of the years (ten and twelve), including a profit share feature.

The vessels are scheduled for delivery from 2028 onwards.

To remind, in April this year, SFL bought two dual-fuel chemical tankers for a price tag of $114 million. The company also placed a four-year $150 million senior unsecured sustainability-linked bonds.

Sustainability bonds raise funds for new and existing projects with environmentally sustainable purposes. At that time, SFL did not specify whether it would use a portion of these funds for eco-friendly vessel acquisitions.

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Established in 2003, SFL has developed from a pure tanker-owning company to one of the world’s largest ship-owning companies, with investments in the tanker, bulker, container and offshore segments.