Navigator Holdings, the owner and operator of the world’s largest fleet of handysize liquefied gas carriers, is pleased to announce that following the formation of its 60/40 joint venture with Greater Bay Gas , previously announced on September 30, 2022, the Joint Venture has today acquired the first of its scheduled five vessels.
The vessel, a 17,000 cbm 2018-built liquefied ethylene gas carrier was renamed Navigator Luna, in recognition of the Navigator and Greater Bay Gas Luna Pool collaboration arrangement (the “Luna Pool”). The remaining vessels to be acquired by the Joint Venture include another 17,000 cbm, 2018-built ethylene carrier and three 22,000 cbm, 2019-built ethylene carriers, which are expected to be purchased over the next 12 months (collectively with the Navigator Luna, the “Vessels”).
The Vessels will continue to be commercially managed by the Luna Pool, and technical management will be provided by the third-party technical manager, PG Shipmanagement Pte. Ltd. of Singapore.
To assist with the financing of the Vessels, on December 15, 2022, the JVCO’s subsidiaries (Pacific Jupiter L.L.C., Pacific Mars L.L.C., Pacific Mercury L.L.C., Pacific Saturn L.L.C. and Pacific Venus L.L.C.) (the “Borrowers”), entered into a six-year secured term loan (the “Facility Agreement”) with ING Bank N.V., Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ), CTBC Bank and Shinsei Bank Limited, pursuant to which such lenders made available to the Borrowers, a maximum amount of $151.3 million, subject to certain terms and conditions set out in the Facility Agreement, which represents 65% of the expected aggregate value of the Vessels. The loan bears interest on a quarterly basis at SOFR plus 220 basis points. Obligations under the Facility Agreement are guaranteed by Navigator Gas L.L.C. and the Company and will be secured by the Vessels. The Facility Agreement contains certain conditions, covenants and events of default.
Mads Peter Zacho, Chief Executive Officer of Navigator, said:
“We are very pleased to have already purchased the first vessel under our joint venture with Greater Bay, having signed our agreement in late September. I look forward to continuing our relationship with Greater Bay and welcoming the planned five vessels into the Navigator fleet.”
Mr. Steven Xiao, Director of Greater Bay Gas, commented:
“By agreeing this joint venture with Navigator, we have widened our business opportunities and our exposure to the liquefied gas transportation industry at a time when demand for shipping is only increasing. We look forward to 2023 with great anticipation.”