WFW advises Hoegh LNG on refinancing options for German FSRUs

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) advised long-standing client Höegh LNG on the refinancing of the Höegh Esperanza and Höegh Gannet floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) that will service Germany’s new floating liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) terminals in the North Sea ports of Wilhelmshaven, Lower Saxony, and Brunsbüttel, Schleswig-Holstein. The FSRUs are two of five vessels contracted by the German government to help achieve its goal of energy independence from Russia.

WFW London and Germany advised Höegh LNG on a new ten-year US$685m loan to refinance the two FSRUs provided by leading international banks. The loan will be used to repay existing loan facilities and for general corporate use and is split into two tranches, one per vessel. The refinancing of the Höegh Esperenza has now taken place with the refinancing of the Höegh Gannet expected to occur in March/April 2023 upon the FSRU completing its commissioning. In addition, a multi-disciplinary team from WFW Germany advised Höegh LNG on regulatory matters pertinent to the entry of the FSRUs into Germany.

The Höegh Esperanza and Höegh Gannet are two of three FSRUs located in Germany as of early 2023. Collectively the three FSRUs will regasify delivered LNG to feed at least 20bn cubic metres of natural gas a year into Germany’s grid, replacing a third of its gas imports from Russia. The Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel LNG terminals opened ahead of schedule in December 2022 and January 2023 respectively. The infrastructure for the terminals and FSRUs was built in less than a year, a record for Germany, highlighting the critical importance the government attaches to the project.

Höegh LNG is a leading provider of FRSU and floating LNG infrastructure services under long-term contracts. Through the development, ownership and operation of modern FSRUs, Höegh LNG is well placed to act as a global leader in the rapid expansion of LNG energy networks worldwide.

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