The banks include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation of Japan -through its German subsidiary, SMBC Bank EU AG-, Société Générale of France, and Shinsei Bank of Japan.

The facility will be used towards refinancing two ice-class LNG carriers servicing the Sakhalin-2 project, 'Grand Aniva' and 'Grand Elena', which are jointly owned and operated by SCF Group and NYK Line.

The vessels transport LNG year-round from the port of Prigorodnoye on Sakhalin Island to Japan, South Korea and China, under long-term contracts with Sakhalin Energy, the operator of Sakhalin-2 project.

Since LNG shipments began from Sakhalin-2 in March 2009, the two carriers have successfully completed 325 voyages, delivering over 46.5 million cubic metres of LNG.

The vessels are assigned an ice class of 1C, allowing them to operate in challenging ice conditions of the Sea of Okhotsk year-round.

With this financing facility, SCF Group is working towards compliance with the Poseidon Principles – an environmental initiative by leading international banks that promotes a low carbon future for the global shipping industry by establishing a framework for assessing and disclosing the climate change impact of ship finance portfolios.

The Poseidon Principles are consistent with the IMO's ambition to reduce shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050.

We are...pleased that this financing allows us to support the Poseidon Principles, a new initiative by the banking community aimed at decarbonisation of the shipping industry, and to promote responsible and sustainable shipping,

...stated Nikolay Kolesnikov, Executive Vice-President & CFO of Sovcomflot.