The transaction has been concluded at a sale price of US$ 135 million.
The vessel has been re-named "Salju" under Indonesian flag and Registry, due to the fact that Indonesian Cabotage regulations establishes LNG cargoes produced and sold within Indonesia must be transported on an Indonesian flagged vessel.
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 recognises 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 US$82 million.
The growth in the Indonesian domestic trade of LNG is the direct result of the recent introduction of 3 new LNG Terminals which are supplied from LNG production facilities at Bontang and Tangguh. The receiving Terminals are the FSRU Nusantara Regas Satu (commenced operations in Q2 2012) located in West Java, PGN FSRU (Q3 2014) located in Lampung and the Arun Receiving Terminal in Aceh Province, scheduled to commence operations in the first quarter of 2015.
FSRU Nusantara Regas Satu is owned and operated by PT Golar Indonesia, a joint venture company between Golar and Equinox's parent company.
Gary Smith, CEO Golar Management, stated:
"The sale of the vessel in support of Equinox's aim of actively servicing Indonesian domestic LNG shipping demand fits with our strategy of maximizing cash flows in the currently challenging shipping environment. Golar's support to Equinox strengthens the ties we have with our long term partners in the important Indonesian market. 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."