Sovcomfloat Signs Loan Agreement

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Sovcomflot Group and German bank HSH Nordbank AG have signed a Loan Agreement of $434m. HSH Nordbank is mandated lead arranger and is providing senior debt for the transaction. The signing ceremony attended by Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot and Hans Berger, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of HSH Nordbank, took place in Hamburg. The purpose of the Loan Facility with final maturity date in 2021 is to provide the financing of six vessels, i.e. three unique Arctic tankers to be deployed for long-term operation in Barents Sea, as well as three product-carriers. ING Bank N.V. has been working as structuring bank and financial advisor for Sovcomflot under above Loan Facility. Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale is participating in the transaction as co-lender.

The Arctic shuttle tankers have been designed to ship oil from the Varandey oil terminal (operated by Naryanmarneftegaz – a joint venture between Lukoil and ConocoPhillips) and are scheduled for delivery between December 2007 and March 2009. The ships of 70,000 dwt each with enhanced ice class will fly the Russian flag. The tankers are being built in compliance with the Rules of dual classification under the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and American Bureau of Shipping and will be assigned LU 6 ice class (1A Super in accordance with international classification). Sovcomflot has already signed long-term charters with Naryanmarneftegas. Three product-carriers of 47,000 dwt each will continue the series of six vessels ordered earlier by Sovcomflot from the Admiralty Shipyards. Six tankers of the series, i.e. Troitsky Bridge, Tuchkov Bridge, Tower Bridge, Torgovy Bridge, Teatralny Bridge and Tavrichesky Bridge are successfully operating already.

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