PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group), a global leader in energy shipping and servicing offshore oil and gas production, today reported its results for the first half (H1) 2020.
Operational highlights for H1 2020
Christophe de Margerie, an icebreaking LNG carrier, became the first large-capacity cargo vessel to transit the full length of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) eastbound in May, two months earlier than when navigation along the eastern part of the NSR traditionally commences. This voyage makes possible a substantial extension to the annual NSR transit season.
SCF Group took delivery of SCF La Perouse, a 174,000-cbm new-generation Atlanticmax LNG carrier, time chartered to Total. The Group has two further vessels in this series under construction, time chartered to Royal Dutch Shell and scheduled for delivery in 2020.
SMART LNG, a joint venture of SCF and NOVATEK, ordered four Arc7 icebreaking LNG carriers for the Arctic LNG 2 project from Zvezda Shipyard and their technology partner Samsung Heavy Industries, with financing provided by VEB.RF.
SCF Group received the ‘Project Financing Deal of the Year 2019 Award’ from Marine Money, an international maritime finance publication. The award-winning transaction was an eight-year USD 176 million credit facility, concluded in September 2019 to refinance two LNG carriers, Grand Aniva and Grand Elena.
Using LNG as a primary fuel for a series of ‘Green Funnel’ Aframax crude oil tankers allowed a substantial reduction (14,229 tonnes) in the amount of CO2 emissions from these ships over the reporting period, compared with similar vessels powered by diesel oil.
Commenting on the H1 2020 results, Igor Tonkovidov, President and CEO of SCF Group, said:
“SCF Group has achieved its operating and financial targets for the reporting period. For the first time in SCF Group’s history, EBITDA over the prior 12 months has exceeded USD 1 billion.
“An optimal balance of long- and short-term charter contracts, together with a rational geographic distribution of vessels allowed SCF Group to fully capitalise on the freight market upswing.
“In the first half of the year, the energy shipping market dynamics were highly volatile. Along with the usual seasonal factor, the freight rates levels were impacted by exogenous non-market drivers as well as sharp price fluctuations in the oil market, caused by changes in the OPEC+ terms. In the short term, this has contributed to the increase in both spot and time charter rates, which has allowed the Group to grow its term contracts portfolio.
“Importantly, SCF Group also continued to steadily grow its industrial business portfolio, which provides a long-term fixed income stream not impacted by market fluctuations. Over H1, SCF Group increased its time charter revenues from gas and offshore operations by 10 per cent to USD 342 million. At the end of the reporting period, the Group’s had USD 12.8 billion in future contracted earnings and receivables, a record for the Group.
“SCF Group has taken timely measures to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from significantly affecting its operations. We have ensured the health of our employees is protected, both at sea and onshore. Through digital transformation, SCF Group was able to maintain the stability of fleet operations and the continuity of our business processes during this difficult period. Further, the Group began implementing a large-scale programme to train crews for the new generation of Arctic LNG carriers, scheduled for delivery from 2023.”
Sergey Frank, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SCF Group, noted:
“The Board of Directors is satisfied with SCF Group’s performance in H1 2020. The Group has fully achieved the goals set by the shareholder for the period and demonstrated solid financial performance for the fourth quarter in a row. We are pleased that, against the current operationally challenging environment, SCF Group steadily and consistently follows the development path outlined by the Strategy-2025, approved in May 2019, successfully expanding its competencies in key strategic areas, such as LNG shipping in harsh climates and adopting new cleaner-burning fuels for large-capacity tanker operations.”
Source: PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group)