Russian shipping major Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has signed a new USD 252 million credit facility to finance a series of six Aframax tankers.The tankers, which were purpose-designed to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), are currently under construction and due for delivery from the third quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019.The 7-year credit facility was agreed with a consortium of six banks, including ABN AMRO Bank, BNP Paribas, Citibank, ING Bank, KfW IPEX-Bank and Société Générale.Each 114,000 dwt tanker will have an ice class 1A hull, enabling safe year-round export operations from regions with challenging ice conditions, such as the Baltic. Two vessels will work exclusively for Shell under time-charters for up to ten years, while Shell will also provide LNG fuel for all the six tankers in the series across North West Europe and the Baltic.SCF said that the credit facility benefits from a favourable long-term tenor and competitive pricing, reflecting the robustness of the deal structure as well as the ability of the company to raise capital internationally under all market conditions.“This is the second successful debt financing accomplished by SCF Group in 2018, which now allows the company to address in full its financing requirements for the newbuilding programme of 2018-2019,” Nikolay Kolesnikov, Senior Executive Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer of SCF Group, said.SCF informed that these vessels set new environmental standards for the global tanker industry through adopting cleaner-burning LNG as a primary fuel for Aframax tankers.
The left-back has also been courted by Lyon, and Louvel did not rule out the Champions League qualifiers returning to hijack the deal. “We were close to an agreement with Lyon, it has not happened but you never know,” he said. “Right now, the only club we are in agreement with is Sunderland and it is now up to Benjamin Mendy to make his choice.” Arsenal have also been linked with the highly-rated teenager. Sources on Wearside played down claims that their interest in the defender is at an advanced stage, but confirmed he is very much in the club’s sights as they attempt to boost the playing staff at both senior and development levels. Sunderland have been without a specialist left-back for some time, with loan signing Danny Rose having plugged a gap – which has also been filled at times by midfielders Kieran Richardson and Jack Colback and right-back Phil Bardsley. It would come as no surprise even if manager Paolo Di Canio did manage to land the Longjumeau-born player if he also opted to bring in a more senior man for the same position in a bid to give the cover the club has lacked for some time. Sunderland have agreed a deal to sign Le Havre’s teenage defender Benjamin Mendy, according to the French club. Press Association Despite being only 18, Mendy has significant experience having made 57 appearances in the last two seasons in Ligue 2 and represented France at Under-16 to Under-18 level. Le Havre president Jean-Pierre Louvel told Radio Monte Carlo: “We have reached agreement with Sunderland for the transfer of Mendy. It’s now up to him to reach an agreement with them. We are okay.”