Golar LNG Ltd has completed the sale and delivery of the LNG carrier Golar Viking to PT Perusahaan Pelayaran Equinox (Equinox) for US$135 million.
The 140,205-cbm Golar Viking (built 2005) has been renamed Salju under Indonesian flag and registry.
Under Indonesian Cabotage regulations, LNG cargoes produced and sold within Indonesia must be transported on an Indonesian flagged vessel.
Equinox decided to acquire the Golar Viking and transfer the vessel to Indonesian flag due to an anticipated increase in domestic allocation for Indonesian produced LNG cargoes this year.
The technical specification of Golar Viking, now renamed Salju, is well suited for the short haul nature of the domestic Indonesian trade. The transfer of ownership and the anticipated future employment of the vessel recognize that long haul sea borne trade will increasingly become dominated by modern, larger and more efficient vessels providing greater economies of scale.
In connection with the sale, Golar has repaid a secured bank loan of approximately USD 82 million. The sale was concluded at the vessel's approximate book value as at December 31, 2014 and Golar therefore do not expect this transaction to materially impact its first quarter results for 2015.
Gary Smith, chief executive of Golar Management, said: “The transaction further confirms Golar’s strategy of reducing the company’s exposure to the LNG shipping market and focusing its investment in the FLNG business.”
The Indonesian owner
has been linked with a time-charter business offered by state energy company Pertamina, which is on the hunt for LNG tonnage.