Teekay LNG Partners is looking for long-term debt financing to fund two vessels expected to be delivered in 2016.

The firm ordered the two 173,400m3 carriers from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), and expects to secure the debt financing to complete payment before scheduled delivery, along with a portion of its existing US$420mn liquidity.

Teekay LNG also expects to sign long-term contract employment for both vessels before 2016. The contract with DSME has a favourable instalment payment schedule, with the majority of the purchase price due upon delivery.

The vessels will be constructed with M-type, electronically-controlled gas injection (Megi) twin engines, which should improve fuel efficiency and lower emission levels compared to other engines currently used in LNG shipping.

“The delivery of these vessels is timed to coincide with the next wave of increased demand for LNG carriers which is expected when a large number of new LNG export projects come on stream commencing from late 2015. They are also among the largest LNG carriers that will be able to transit the Panama Canal after its expansion project is complete, which makes them ideal for US LNG exports,” says Peter Evensen, CEO of Teekay.

“In addition, we are confident these [vessels] will be especially attractive to our customers given their fuel-efficient engines as well as being built to a high specification at DSME. With scheduled delivery in 2016, we believe that we are well-positioned to charter these LNG [vessels] on fixed-rate charter contracts prior to their delivery, thereby providing Teekay LNG with visible built-in growth.”