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Golar LNG Ltd (GLNG) Q1 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

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Golar LNG Ltd (NASDAQ: GLNG)
Q1 2019 Earnings Call
May 21, 2019, 10:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and thank you for standing by. Welcome to today's Golar LNG Limited Q1 2019 Results Presentation. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. There will be a presentation followed by a question and answer session. (Operator Instructions) I must advice you that the conference is being recorded today.

I'd now like to hand the conference over to your first speaker today, Iain Ross. Please go ahead.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you operator. Good morning, good afternoon everyone and welcome to Golar's Q1 2019 Earnings Call. Today I'm joined by CFO, Graham Robjohns, Head of IR, Stuart Buchanan and we're pleased to introduce that our chairman Tor Olav Troim is also on the call.

Turning to Slide 3. We have had a lot of feedback over the last few months about the things we can do to try and meet the Golar's story more simple,. more appealing to some of the longer term investors that we're trying to attract and we hope to cover some of that today. Our vision is to participate competitively, sustainably and of course safely in owning and operating of LNG infrastructure assets, which we believe is path the world is needed to move toward cleaner energy. And Slide three 3 is a reminder of our current assets.

Let me move to Slide 4, and just cover the highlights before handing over to Graham for him to go through the numbers. The main achievements during the quarter were clearly to conclude all of the contractual agreements in order to get going on the Gimi FLNG conversion project for BP, which is now up and running and progressing to plan. As a reminder the vessel should be on station and producing LNG in 2022, at which point it will start running down on EBITDA backlog of over $4 billion associated with the project. A $700 million debt facility is in place, our partner in this development Keppel Capital is subscribed to 30% share in the project.

The second project that we made a final investment decision on is the Viking conversion from a carrier to an FSRU for LNG Croatia and that project will commence next year. Once we grew the EBITDA backlog, the amount of EBITDA that we generated during the quarter was about half of the Q4, 2018 number, largely due to seasonally reduced shipping rates, which still was well above the first quarter last year. And importantly subject to the shipping market improving as we think it will, we're getting closer to a spin-off of the TFDE fleet having received approval from the Board to move forward on that basis. Spinning off the ships will create two separate businesses that should be more appealing to investors individually than as a combined group.

I'll now hand over to Graham to take you through the numbers in more detail before coming back to talk through the business segments.

Graham Robjohns -- Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Iain and good day everybody. Starting on Slide 5 and our income statement, net op revenues were down this quarter at $97.8 million from $141.8 million last quarter primarily as guided as a result of a weak Q1 spot shipping market, which was largely driven by seasonality as well as early Chinese LNG buying in Q4 leading to weak Asian LNG prices in Q1, which removed inter-basin trading opportunities. As a result fleet utilization fell to 51% and TCE to $39,300 per day. The reduction in shipping revenues was the key driver behind the adjusted EBITDA of $62.9 million, although realized earnings from the Brent-linked element of the Hilli Episeyo contract were also reduced to $2.2 million for the quarter.

The fair market value of the Hilli Episeyo linked oil contract, i.e. the unrealized element recorded a gain of $28.4 million in Q1 as oil prices recovered from year end. This of course compared to the very large loss of $196 million for Q4. We recorded a $34.3 million impairment in the quarter in respect of the steam LNG carrier Golar Viking, the vessel being converted for a Croatian FSRU project. Although the sale is not expected to close until Q4, 2020, the transaction triggered an immediate impairment test as the current carrying value of the vessel exceeds the price, a market participant would pay for it as an LNG carrier today, a non-cash impairment charge of $34.3 million has been recognized. A profit is however expected to be recorded when the sale actually closes, along with a net cash inflow of approximately $40 million. And finally equity in net losses of associates was significantly reduced this quarter due to the impairment of our holding in Golar LNG Partners that was recorded in Q4.

Turning over to the balance sheet on the next slide, unrestricted cash balance was $230 million as at March 31, as compared to $217 million at year end. Included in our total restricted cash of $478 million is $175 million relating to the Hilli Episeyo letter of credit facility, approximately $29 million of which is expected to be released to free cash in Q2, 2019 with a further $85 million scheduled to be released by May 2021.

Turning over to Slide 7, our last 12 months further adjusted EBITDA, which is adjusted for non-recurring items and Golar LNG Partners share of Hilli annualized for the full year with $186 million, which would expect to increase as a function of an improving shipping market. This is -- as I say after the deduction of a one off gain associated with the Golar Tundra contract and also the Golar Partner share of Hilli, but does not include distributions that we receive from Golar LNG Partners, which is currently approximately $37 million per annum.

Moving over to Slide 8 and staying with EBITDA, cash generation from our FLNG and downstream assets and contracts will now start to ramp up. We also expect our current base level adjusted EBITDA will improve as a function of an improving shipping market given the $186 million for the last 12 months numbers equates to an average TCE of only $44,000 per day. Cash generation will increase significantly over the next few years as a function of the start up of the Sergipe power station together with the Nanook FSRU expected increase in utilization of the Hilli and of course the new Golar Gimi FLNG contract, and this will bring us to over $500 million a year. And these numbers as I say can exclude any contribution from Golar LNG Partners in the form of dividends.

Third slide on EBITDA on Slide 9, you can see that even without the assumption of the proposed shipping spin-off, our earnings will become far more predictable as fixed contracts start to demonstrate -- dominate and we move from a fixed element of contracts for 23% currently to over 70% once the Gimi is operational.

Turning over to Slide 10, here we show a breakdown of debt. Our adjusted net debt position as of 31st of March including 100% of Hilli's and $894 million debt was $2.2 billion or $1.75 billion if you exclude Golar Partner share of Hilli's debt. We've also set out on this side, the split between short-term and long-term contractual debt, which as you see differs markedly from the balance sheet position as a result of the requirement to consolidate the Chinese banks leasing companies, so-called VIEs. An important part of the proposed shipping spin-off is of course debt reduction from our balance sheet. The debt associated with the vessels earmarked for the proposed shipping spin off equates to approximately $1.17 billion.

In terms of new debt as mentioned and as we reported in our earnings release, on April 16th, Gimi MS Corp, a 70% subsidiary which owns the vessel Gimi received a firm $700 million fully underwritten financing commitment. The facility will be available during construction of the tenure of seven years and has a motivation of 12 years. We also expect that as we get nearer to commercial operations, this level of debt will increase as was the case with Hilli. In terms of other debt facilities, we have agreed a two-year extension on the Golar Tundra, leaseback facility and a five-year amended facility in respect of the Golar Arctic gulf credit approval during the quarter.

Thank you, and I'll now hand back to Iain to carry on with the presentation.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks Graham. so I'm on Slide 11. Taking the business sectors in turn, firstly FLNG. Hilli is going well, currently offloading cargo number 20 this week and as -- we recently achieved a contractual milestone of 1.2 million tons of LNG produced, that allowed the LC to be reduced as Graham mentioned. On the back of our continued satisfactory performance, discussions with Perenco are in progress with a view to increasing the production volume beyond the first three trains and potentially extending the overall duration of the contract.

We expect to conclude these discussions well before the year end and I'm sure that you'll understand if we don't go into any further details at this time, but we'll update you fully when we've concluded the agreements. The Gimi conversion project for BP has been kicked off as mentioned. We recently cut the first steel on the sponsons and as the project progresses, we're making sure that anything that we can learn from the Hilli operation is built into the design and operations of Gimi. As this recent and relevant operations expense is making our discussions with other potential FLNG customers so constructive. Our pipeline of prospects remains very healthy, but it should be noted that these deals are complex and take time to conclude. And although we're confident that FLNG economics and risk profiles will result in readily refinancible assets post start off, one of the key challenges for Golar is our ability to commit our portion of equity required during construction phase of a project, payment terms are a key component of this and we continue to work with yards and suppliers to try and optimize the commercial model, which allow us to make this business more scalable.

Turning to shipping on Slide 12. So the shipping market did experience a seasonal decline with the TCE effectively halving from the fourth quarter and as usual it was a combination of factors that led to the swinging rates. With a mild Asian winter despite continued growth in China we saw some nuclear restarts in Japan and Korea that largely offset that Chinese demand. They are closed and the Atlantic basin cargos from the US and Russia into Europe doubled by volume compared to the first quarter of 2018.

With these additional volumes remaining in Europe ton-miles and shipping rates continue to fall throughout the quarter leaving spot TFDE and steam rates at $40,000 and $24,000 respectively by the end of March. And of course as rate reductions we also experienced reduced utilization which in a down cycle has a greater effect on TCE. And although the rates soften further in Q2, we've recently seen the low point and shipping rates are now into their seasonal recovery.

Forward gas prices of $9 per mmbtu being quoted for December gave solid support to the improved shipping market and our view on the coming structural shortage in shipping remains unchanged. Leading brokers continue to forecast the 10 plus vessels shortage at the end of 2019, increasing to more than 20 at the end of 2020. Rates are expected to reflect this from the second half of this year onwards and remain strong for the next two years. This has resulted in an increase in requests from medium to long term charters. We have a couple of deals already concluded and several more under discussion based on index-linked rates, which will secure full utilization of the chartered vessels. These deals will provide some support to the fleet TCE moving forward.

And as mentioned in the introduction at our recent board meeting in Bermuda, a decision was made to proceed with a spin-off of the Company's TFDE LNG carriers into a separate business, subject to satisfactory market conditions, which will allow us to focus the Company's future activities around FLNG, Golar power and the downstream assets. We believe the spin-off will allow LNG shipping investors more direct exposure to the LNG carrier market without having to consider the longer term CapEx projects. Golar is also in talks with other owners of similar tonnage to potentially join the new shipping company. And under the new arrangement it should be noted the management of Golar's vessels will remain with Golar management Norway.

Turning briefly to the FSRU business on Slide 13. Viking conversion project has taken FID with long lead equipment now on order. She'll enter the conversion yard at Hudong at the beginning of next year and will trade as a carrier until then, as conversion contract will not consume any material amounts of cash due to the milestone payment structure agreed under the contract. Other FSRU prospects are being pursued, but the approval process remains slow and the returns are less attractive than other parts of the business can be.

Turning to Slide 14 and there is Sergipe power station, construction remains on track for commencement of operations on January 1st, 2020. Power station is now nearing mechanical completion and pre-commissioning of selected systems has commenced in anticipation of first firing of the gas turbines currently scheduled for early July. Transmission lines from the substation to the grid work connected on the 3rd of May and the FSRU Nanook with its commissioning cargo is ready for hook up to the mooring. And as a reminder, Golar's share of the earnings from this project are around $99 million per year for 25 years regardless of whether power is dispatched or not.

As discussed in the last call, Golar power commenced a strategic review, which focused on how we can ramp up the business now that Sergipe power plant is nearing COD. We had a progress update a couple of weeks ago and there are a number of ways that we can grow the power business. Of course, we can continue to pursue Brazilian, the power auctions to underpin further developments like Sergipe and we do have a couple of locations already permitted and with well-developed business plans on it, Barcarena in the North and other at Santa Catarina at the South. We will continue to pursue these projects because the problem is that we have the time frame between now and when we see cash flows quite long, between four and six years away. So in thinking about smaller amounts of CapEx and shorter payback times, we've been closely examining the downstream distribution market for some time and the clear conclusion of the review is that the immediate focus of Golar Power will be to utilize the strategic position of the new FSRU to access the downstream small scale LNG market in Brazil.

If we turn to Slide 15, we try to illustrate that there are several ways the Brazilian energy market is being serviced. We include a current reference price for the different forms. For example the industry is paying about $50 per mmbtu for pipe gas, isolated communities are paying about $14 for HFO generated power, domestic consumers are paying about $20 per mmbtu for pipe gas and diesel for transport costs about $26 per mmbtu. And in this slide, we're attempting to show that we have a small scale rollout solution for gas fired remote thermal power for both domestic gas consumption and remote LNG transport. In all modes, we can generally beat the reference price for supply of LNG versus the current fuel.

And if you consider that 95% of the cities in Brazil are not connected to pipeline gas, there's an opportunity to displace expensive diesel and other fuels. The market in Brazil is large with diesel consumption across the whole country equivalent to approximately 40 million tons per annum of LNG demand. The key to this plan is to use the FSRU Nanook. We've already invested $300 million to $400 million in the vessel, the pipeline and the mooring and that expenditure is justified and supported by this Sergipe power station project. But when the Sergipe power station is running at full capacity, it will only require a fraction of the volume of the FSRU. We therefore have access to around 200 million mmbtu per year spare capacity.

If you turn to Slide 16, the model we're developing involves breaking bulk from Nanook and transporting LNG to other coastal locations before transferring to storage tanks, secondary terminals or truck loading stations for further transport to the destination. We have had detailed discussions with many of the small cities that can be served from the Nanook FSRU and have received such strong interest from these communities combined with a strong drive from the Brazilian government that we're moving ahead with the detailed planning and costing. The key will be to understand not only the cost of conversion for the consumer, but how we can make it as easy as possible for them to take advantage of the lower costs and improve environmental performance.

The Nanook is a strategic asset and creates very high barriers to entry. By means of example if we use all of the excess capacity of the Nanook and assume let's say $1 mmbtu can be captured, this is equivalent to around $100 million per annum in additional EBITDA for Golar Power. Importantly the time between investment and cash flow is relatively short with returns commencing in 12 months to 18 months. We believe this model is replicable with other locations such as Barcarena and Santa Catarina and importantly it can accelerate the positioning of strategic FSRU's in those locations in advance of a power station contract being awarded.

Turning to Slide 17, shows another example, this time with the transportation. Diesel for transport costs $26 per mmbtu as illustrated by the petrol pump or the diesel pump price that you can see in this slide. It probably be delivered in the form of LNG for about half the cost and interestingly LNG trucks cost about the same as diesel ones and right now there are around 2 million trucks on the road in Brazil, using about 32 million tons per annum equivalent of LNG in the form of diesel. LNG cuts CO2 and nitrous oxide emissions by 30%, particulates by 70% and it basically takes out any sulfur. It's cleaner and much cheaper to use LNG for transport than diesel and infrastructure is relatively cheap and fast to roll out.

Moving now to Slide 18, this summarizes our contract earnings backlog, which is around $6.6 billion versus the current market capitalization of $2 billion and an enterprise value of $4 billion. We continue to look to build a strong and sustainable business with some high quality customers. And this seems like a good time to hand over Golar's Chairman Tor Troim for his views and some closing outlook comments.

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

First of all, I wanted to thank all of you for listening in to the call. The reason why I wanted to participate in this call was to give an unfiltered message from the Board to the Company's shareholder and prospective investors about the strategy of the outset and the focus the Board will have for the Company going forward. To build great company is never easy. I've had the pleasure of being in partner with, which historically has been some great companies, made a lot of money for shareholders and nearly all of them went through some tough times before the shareholders ultimately got their award. Even our vision to sell cheap and healthy fuel to the consolidation of salmon industry and with big losses, no investor confidence on the market capitalization of $1.2 billion in 2012, before the investors saw the value of cheap and healthy fuel and today the price of the Company is $11 billion after paid out another $3 billion.

I'm proud of what our employees in Golar have done and have achieved over the last year. We delivered first FSRU. We delivered the first -- world's first FLNG and delivered it under budget and time. We have 100% up-time operation -- in the first year of operation. We started the construction of the second one after BP has spend three years in our office investing in the vessels. We are seen as a top class operator of LNG carriers and we are in the process of completing construction of South America's largest terminal power plant, which will generate $1 million in EBITDA every day for the next 25 years. We have altogether gathered a backlog of more than $10 billion for the grid with a very good margin, not that bad for a Company with a market capitalization of $2 billion. However, the we are as board also ultimate responsible for giving return to shareholders. That is the most important thing you have a mind running a Company and we have not delivered over the last five years. I have to admit that it feels tough to announce a 20-year deal with BP with an unleveraged return of 13.5% at the same time see the share price fall.

Practically it's had when we are approached by pension fund out there, which could be happy to see half of that return for a 20-year debt deal to avoid merger. You can't blame it on the market, the LNG market is the fastest growing energy market in the world outside the renewables and growing more than 10% a year. It's a great ESG story and at the inset it is significant pollution reduction, CO2 down 30%, SOX 100 (ph) and particulates down 60%, it is really an ESG case.

The biggest trade challenge we have had probably been -- and ultimately have been to hurdle in developing this Company over the last years, has been the slowness of the decision-making in this industry. The time it takes to execute from project to planning to permitting to construction and completion. And then a luck of develop financing for the LNG industry, which is a new industry. We went out and let Nanook pick up the cargo from Hilli, use the FSRU capacity and send gas into our power station in Brazil, (inaudible), which comes in the end of the year, started distribution of small scale LNG in Brazil from Nanook. It represents 10 years of hard work in permitting, negotiating, financing and executing on a very firm conviction. LNG is cheap and clean energy, that's why it is in percentage terms grows close to 10 times more than oil.

I dare to say that the biggest value in Golar today is not the contracted cash flow with all the analysts kind of estimate on a quarterly basis. It's the execution experience we have gained and the strategic value of that infrastructure, we have built is strongly in the side. It's only Golar and Petrobras today who can deliver LNG into Brazil and it cost hundreds of million dollars for anybody else and years to challenge us. The main target for the Company now going forward as Iain said is to fill the production capacity of Hilli for a longer term than initial contract. It is to increase the throughput on Nanook and it is to produce emerging power in Brazil in the periods or may not dispatch. It is to replace diesel in the market. It's all incremental revenue and EBITDA on a CapEx, which already had been taken by the Golar shareholders.

It is to use the entry points, we know -- the further entry points, we know are permitted in Brazil to deliver further LNG into the customer. The prem price for diesel in Nevada through Chamber in Amazonas was yesterday equal to $26 LNG prices. At the same time LNG price in the US market was yesterday $3.85, in Europe it was $4.24 and the JKM price was $5.32 out in Asia. They are all prices which are equal or less than $30 oil. Gas LNG is significantly cheaper. What we need in addition to go off to this Brazilian market. It's a small scale investment, if some LNGs storage tanks typically costing $500,000, there are some isotainers typically costing $110,000. It's filling stations for trucks costing around $0.5 million and then some trucks costing around $100,000. We're talking about less than $100 million to make a solid case for an energy revolution in what is the first -- fifth most populated country. A country which last year had these new rights. I've never seen a more obvious and stronger and more profitable ESG investment case.

This is what Golar ultimates about cheaper and cleaner energy solution. In order to streamline the Company for long term cash flow and to an investor, the Board had decided to spin-off the carrier business. With the remaining operators of the ship, if we think the volatility we have seen in the shipping, this makes it difficult to investors to really understand what Golar is about. At the same time we know we are heading into some interesting time in shipping. We saw rates cross $200,000 per year last year, we dipped down in the first part of the year, but we're already seeing clear signs of recovery. For the next two years, we know that the LNG production coming on, will outstrip the amount on new shipping capacity coming from the yard and thereby should lead to a tighter market in the two years to come. There is time now to create the pure play LNG shipping company.

We have invested more than $5 billion to get to where we are today. From here on it's much more a story about capital discipline, increased utilization of existing assets. It's all about return on assets with limited investments materially in it in order to create significant value for the Company. We know we have the permit to build, for instance, an FSRU terminal in Barcarena. We know the grid have an FSRU laid up. We know that through these assets can establish what normally is a $400 million terminal at the marginal cost of probably $50 million to $100 million. If after a couple of years can get bond dollar in tariff on that throughput capacity, you're talking about an earnings potential of $180 million for having filled throughput capacity on that. It just illustrates the economics of going downstream. We're talking about downstream, we typically pay back in two to three years, at least they come quickly contrived to FLNG. They also create a very strong relationship to your customers long term.

They're often asked why they haven't concluded more FLNG deals. People stating, asking us aren't there enough opportunities? I'll tell you that's wrong. We had three guys from Golar visited one of the biggest energy company in the world last week. The company showed up in 40 people and presented us with 10 opportunities for FLNG developments. It's just an example. The reason we haven't concluded more FLNGs are two-fold. The time to take for oil companies and governmental institutions to get the FID and the ability to get debt financing in a period between FID and start-up. When you start production you can usually leverage the contacts to leave (ph) no equity. We have wanted to protect the upside for the existing shareholders in what we already have created by not diluting the capital. My friend Wes Edens, who runs New Fortress and I've share a vision. The biggest energy company 10 years from now might not exist today. I'm in no way saying that it will be off, but I think as Wes and I say, because of what we do is to give customers cheaper and cleaner energy and we can make a lot of money in between. I think this is genuinely a fantastic business model.

I hope that in next year with that capital discipline and increased implementation of our assets and some of this unique downstream assets we're now talking about can give back a high return again and can complete our integrated energy Company. We can increase both short and long term earnings and maybe even can make Golar, great again. Between 2002 and 2014, we were the second best performing stock in the OSEAX index. I mean we were up 1,500%. We have a history to take care of -- we need to get back there. With $10 billion in agreed backlog and $6 billion in order backlog in the Golar itself and a significant reduced debt load as a function spinning off their shipping and then mission to lower energy costs for everybody, I think we're on the right track. I'm very confident about the future, the team that put together and the assets we have and I'm excited. Thank you.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks to all. And with that I'd like to hand back to the operator for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen we will now begin the question and answer session. (Operator Instructions) First question today is from the line of Jon Chappell from Evercore. Please go ahead.

Jonathan Chappell -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Thank you. Good afternoon everybody.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Hi Jon.

Jonathan Chappell -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

You know I want to ask about the key growth focus. The final bullet point was additional FLNG awards. I understand you can't really say much on Hilli, so I'll ask about the other two that are kind of in the probability tree. Any update on a second potential asset for BP or just any thoughts about the timing of how that may transpire? And then also you introduced in the press release this comment about Delfin term sheet expected, basis of a shareholder's agreement. If you could just explain a little bit of what that means and how that project is developing?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Hey, Jon. So there's no further update on the BP second vessel. BP still retain that right. And we've had no formal communication back on that. In terms of Delfin, we just wanted to update everyone that we have made a bit of progress in revising are our term sheet from the previous agreement that we had. The challenge to that project remains and the focus of that project remains on trying to link an off taker and the supplier to allow that project to proceed because that will be key to the financing of the opportunity. We've made good progress on the technical aspects of the project that are happening in the background, but we are still trying to push in and make some progress on the off-take. So that's the critical path as it has been for the last 12 months to 18 months.

Jonathan Chappell -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Okay. So no real change on timing?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

No.

Jonathan Chappell -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Okay. The second question has to do with the shipping business and it's just commonly made in the release and also in your comments about the recently concluded charters. I get that they're index linked, so that's both good and bad exposure to the market, but obviously locking down the utilization is a huge positive, you removed one of the two variables from your net TCE. So can you provide a little bit more clarity as to how many of those -- how many of your ships have been contracted on these index links and also the durations for those contracts, is it just bringing you to the winter or is a multi year period?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

So I'm not going to give specific details, but it's --we hope to end up basically with a large handful of ships that have got some degree of contract in that order and the duration that we're talking about is North of 12 months for anything up to five years. So there's quite a wide range, but there is a flavor coming through of a trade off between us getting utilization and relating it to the market and my views that there are positive development for the shipping fleet.

Jonathan Chappell -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Okay. And is that something you think you disclose ahead of it's spin-off or not?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

I don't think we ever disclosed that minor detail for the shipping contracts.

Jonathan Chappell -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Okay. I appreciate the thought. Thanks Iain.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you Jon.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is from the line of Michael Webber from Wells Fargo. Please go ahead.

Michael Webber -- Wells Fargo Securities LLC -- Analyst

Hey good morning guys.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Hey Mike.

Graham Robjohns -- Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Hi Mike.

Michael Webber -- Wells Fargo Securities LLC -- Analyst

Iain, I wanted to touch on Golar Power. They're handful on new slides in the deck and you guys clearly made a point to run through the different options you have in terms of finding ways to deploy that excess capacity. I'm just curious, I guess, one is your confidence in small scale in Brazil. Is that stemming from just the overall market opportunity or is this related to contracts either awarded or embed? And then as you look at the different things you kind of lay out on Slide 16, how should we think about you guys cobbling together a book of business to absorb that excess capacity in terms of just a broad sense of scale for both industrial and municipal and service station outlets and timeline?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

So the reason for the confidence in the small scale is when we went through the review, which is -- we held at New York a couple of weeks ago, we went through the review of the work that has been done and the detailed work that has been done in analyzing the -- I guess the potential customers of the small scale, it was very thorough and very impressive. What that means is that we've gone to the level of having discussions with municipalities and end consumers. We've letters of support and letters of intent and interest in taking LNG from us to the point where we've built up fairly detailed models of what those transactions could look like.

What we have to do next is go to that next level of examination of the specific switching costs. So we know how to get the LNG as Tor Olav said in his remarks, we can break bulk on Sergipe, we can take one of the avenue of ships and come round the corner. We know how much it costs for an overall isotainer or a larger tank, the trick is to take that into the consumer and make it easy for them to take advantage of that low cost environmental benefit. So we're working on that and that will spread out between the various forms and sources on Slide 16.

So the two areas that are of most interest to us, one is of course trucking is we detailed on Slide 17, whereby we can provide that fuel we get some of that saving and then the other one of course is well you've got diesel fired power generation in remote communities deep into the heart of Brazil and displacing that diesel with LNG and many of those power generation facilities are dual fuel anyway. So again this suits cost of play reduced.

Michael Webber -- Wells Fargo Securities LLC -- Analyst

Okay. And there are lots of ways I guess to kind of carve that up. I guess maybe the best angle to ask about it would be -- I guess over the next couple of years if we talk about the Jan 20 start-up for the project in general and then from there on you're looking to kind of place the excess capacity. What would the potential volume commitments look like one or two years out, I guess what are you targeting?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

I think what we're looking at is a ramp up. So I think part of the -- once we reconvene toward the second half of the year, I would expect if we have all our ducks in a row, we'll be pressing the button and pushing ahead with the first elements of -- if you like of this type of distribution, learning from that and then slowly ramping or quickly ramping up as fast as we can into the rest of the community. And I don't think we know yet just how much of that volume we can actually put through in this way, but also we do have capacity for example of Sergipe and for an extension to the Sergipe Power Station, we get a power station number two. So there will be a ramp up of some degree over the next couple of years to maximize the utilization of the power station and I think during that time we'll then be looking at what can we do toward perhaps one of the other locations to do that in advance of a power station award.

Michael Webber -- Wells Fargo Securities LLC -- Analyst

Got you. Okay. And then my second question is actually around Delfin, which I think you've touched on with Jon a bit earlier. You mentioned an ownership structure there, is the best way to think about this that you're looking at something at the corporate level or this is the best way to them as an asset by asset basis because that project could span multiple assets theoretically? Is this something where we're done at a broader agreement or we're taking it a step at a time on asset basis?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

I think we could end up with a broader agreement, but right now we're absolutely taking it a step at a time because we've got to establish this off-take in supply. If you like to make sure that we can underpin the financing of the project and we can spend all day looking at different structures, but if we don't have enough take that supports the project and the financing of the project then there's not much point.

Michael Webber -- Wells Fargo Securities LLC -- Analyst

Got you. Okay. I'll turn it over. Thanks for time guys.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks Mike.

Graham Robjohns -- Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Thanks Mike.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is from the line of Randy Giveans from Jefferies. Please go ahead.

Randy Giveans -- Jefferies & Company, Inc. -- Analyst

Hey, how do you gentleman? How are you?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Hey Randy.

Randy Giveans -- Jefferies & Company, Inc. -- Analyst

Hey a few questions for me. So you mentioned Hilli trains 3 and 4 on Slide 19. So is 4Q still the expected time frame for Perenco to announce FID of Train 3 and any update maybe expectations for Train 4 and maybe specifically some hurdles, milestones that need to be achieved in the coming months for these trains to take FID?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

So as I said in the prepared remarks, we're right in the middle of a fairly detailed discussion with Perenco and how we can both extend the volume and potentially the duration of that overall contract. And I know -- we will have that concluded, I would expect well before the end of the year and maybe just let us have those discussions without obviously disclosing what we're saying and doing in the middle of those discussions and certainly when we've concluded them we'll put out an announcement.

Randy Giveans -- Jefferies & Company, Inc. -- Analyst

Sure. Okay. Just seems any updates in the timing. And then you know obviously mentioning that the Board has approved the LNG carrier spin-off in your kind of destination worthy kind of chances, it actually happens and will it be closer in the coming months or is that kind of a let's wait till rates really rally in 4Q '19, 1Q '20 and then with that what is the exit process from the Cool Pool?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

So first of all if you know -- our belief my belief is that the rates had a turning point and we will continue to improve as we go forward, not on the basis if that's correct. We've got the full backing of the Board to go ahead with the spin-off of the ships. So I would expect that that would take place in months rather than particularly a longer time frame. And we are working through the process right now with the detailed transition should that go ahead to the way we think it is going to go ahead and we will advice details of that a little bit closer to the time when we would like we're going to be pushing ahead with the arrangement.

Randy Giveans -- Jefferies & Company, Inc. -- Analyst

Okay. All right. Sounds good. To quote to our good luck making Golar, great again. Thanks.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is from the line of Chris Snyder from Deutsche Bank.Please go ahead.

Christopher Snyder -- Deutsche Bank AG -- Analyst

Hey good afternoon guys. So first question is on the spin-off of the shipping fleet. I guess my question is how sensitive are you guys to the sale price just given that you'll likely retain ownership in the spin co and the transaction could drive a pretty significant valuation uplift for the existing Golar in today?

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

I think Golar started to do it, of course we're going to remain a major shareholder in this Company going forward and it's public. So I think we're not that sensitive at the same time we want to do it in a positive momentum. Our part, we want to do it pretty quickly. Then use the next two years to get the share price around. We're not talking about raising significant external capital, I think we're talking to two parties as disclosed in in the documents. And I think this is indeed which probably should -- we should be able to do at the reasonable good price without too much kind of need for capital from third party.

Christopher Snyder -- Deutsche Bank AG -- Analyst

Okay, fair enough. And then you also mentioned that term increase are picking up and the term rates seem pretty good. Are you planning to maybe lock up some of these vessels on for long term contracts prior to the spin, as maybe this could increase interest and/or impact the price you get for the fleet?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

No. I mean possibly but the more the more realistic scenario is that toward the end of this year, we'll see term business with fixed rates probably coming back into the fray. The distance for us is a bit too far at the moment, which is why we're interested in these linked rate structures. So depending on when we do the spin-off you could see some, but I think it's more likely that they would happen post spin-off.

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

I think what we're seeing right now is, we're seeing spot rates of course have crossed 50. So if you're index linked, you're close to that. And then -- I think the last term which was now announced in the market is something about 80 for 12 months. So we probably are pretty optimistic here for what's to come this winter and nobody saw for the next winter, so I think we'll hold back for the time being there will be -- you're looking back to the situation in '10 and '11 and oil companies really became desperate, cost on rate was peaking up and we put on the shortage.

Christopher Snyder -- Deutsche Bank AG -- Analyst

Okay, fair enough. And then just lastly I mean I think almost everybody on the call today agrees that the stock is worth more than where it's trading at. And Tor did a good job of kind of laying out this disconnect in his prepared remarks. So just in that context how do you think about share buybacks?

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

I think we have of course $0.15 in dividend, that's $60 million. We have considered that if that should be dividend, should it be buyback. We have of course 3 million TRSs. I think what can be important for us now is to get the financing in place for the BP team. The team there have done a great job getting the $700 million and the limited capital debt to $300 million. Then it's a question of course as BP 2 is coming on the whole capital structure. It's also depending on what kind of financial structure do they ultimately end up with the shipping company, but I think clearly if we are talking -- walking the walk, we should buy back shares. If you have excess capacity managing the stock is clearly undervalued.

Christopher Snyder -- Deutsche Bank AG -- Analyst

Okay, that does it for me. Thanks for the time guys. I appreciate it.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks Chris.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is from the line of Craig Shere from Tuohy Brothers. Please go ahead.

Craig Shere -- Tuohy Brothers -- Analyst

Hi. Congratulations on a pretty good quarter in a rough environment and nice disclosure today. I have two kind of broad financing questions. One about project lending, the other about funding the ships, the FLNG. So on the project lending, I was a little disappointed with the initial Gimi financing duration and amortization schedule, considering that the strong credit and length of cash flows that are contracted behind it. What do you think it really takes to secure more project lender confidence and getting better matched loan payments with contracted cash flows and kind of as a corollary to that, if you're successful with these Perenco discussions before your end this year for an expanded and elongated until utilization would that tee up an immediate project debt refinancing opportunity?

Graham Robjohns -- Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Yes, hi. It's Graham. So I tell you second question first because that is a fairly easy one. Absolutely yes, if we get a significantly extended term then I think that absolutely the opportunity to refinance the Hilli. On the Gimi financing, point taken, I think Tor Olave kind of alluded to the challenges of financing FLNG projects, which is why we're looking at different structures going forward in terms of developing them, but bear in mind the term was 7 years post COD, so it's 11-year financing, which given the sort of thoughts of regulations now is long for a bank financing. It is absolutely the case as we get nearer COD, we would expect to both increase the level of debt, flatten the amortization profile and lengthen the term.

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

If you look at the FPSO business, which is the (inaudible) kind of similar business is a little bit more developed, you would typically see that they leverage 6 times EBITDA to good counterparty for long term contracts. I think we can do something similar here when you are at COD and that means that you take out all equity and leverage $1,200 million to $1,300 million against these assets, that should be doable. But I think we have -- we're under some pressure to provide financing to effectively take FID with BP and I think we have said, OK let's get this thing done and we can optimize financing as we go along over the next couple of years.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

I've got no doubt as the industry becomes familiar and more comfortable with the concept of FLNG, the ability to finance will accordingly become more straightforward.

Craig Shere -- Tuohy Brothers -- Analyst

Right. And my last question about funding the ships at the shipyards. Iain you commented on efforts to get more flexible equity funding terms and two thoughts come to my mind about possible drivers for that, one could be using alternative shipyards maybe in China, but another could be just economies of scale if somehow you're able to string together two, three, four FLNG conversions kind of concurrently one after the other that could tee up much better overall contract terms and also be a major sea change for the future of the Company. Can you kind of opine on what the drivers are for potentially better equity funding terms than of any of the things I mentioned are on the table?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

I think you're right Craig. And it doesn't have to be China, it could be Korea, it could be Singapore. If the Singaporeans would come to the table. I mean this is about creating something that is repeatable, if it's repeatable it's treated more like a complex ship maybe more like a drill ship for example where if the design is such that it doesn't need to be changed, then we can get terms that are more akin to shipping terms. So instead of paying as we go is we have to in the Singaporean conversions at the moment, we can maybe get 2080 (ph) or some payment terms like that, that really allow us to take the benefit of export financing and therefore minimize our upfront CapEx. And with these projects take three plus years to complete we can do a lot with that time. And so it's a combination of all of the things you said and we're looking at a number of variants to try and optimize it, which is why we're not saying one thing we're looking at lots because I think made the best combination win.

Craig Shere -- Tuohy Brothers -- Analyst

I understood if you could find the magic bullet to unleash both the upstream and downstream financing opportunities, you guys have tremendous upside.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Yes, thanks.

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

Thanks Craig.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is from the line of Chris Wetherbee from Citigroup. Please go ahead.

Liam Farrell -- Citigroup Inc -- Analyst

Hi this is Liam off for Chris. Thank you for taking my question. So I just want to kind of circle back to the spin off situation here for LNG carrier, the LNG carrier vessels. What is your plan for the Golar Arctic after the spin-off? Will you guys look to continue to own it and operate it or you're going to look yourself?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, I mean for the time being we would look to own and operate. We have had some success with the Cool Pool on the TFTs. I guess it's possible to set up a Cool Pool for steamships, but she would also be a potential conversion vessel. I guess further down the line as well or two operators in FSRU.

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

I think what Iain and our management have done a great job on this maximizing the value of course with the vessel integration. We've tried to (inaudible) in the secondary market. So that's adjusted value announcement of utilizing divestment in different fashion. I think when people saying that what is a steamship (inaudible), you have to remember does in 200 steamships out of a fleet of 550 is a bit immaterial part of the fleet is still dependent on so, if ships that come off charters over the next 5, 10 years to that extent there were 28 deals done in the beginning of the 20s, at the beginning of 2000. So, I think, we see the danger in being left with. I think we're working in order to find a solution for them, some of them may have on charter right now and I think we are working as Graham said projects to try to maximize the sales value of these assets.

Liam Farrell -- Citigroup Inc -- Analyst

Okay, thank you. And also I just want to circle back on the Gandria. I know you guys never really talked about too much, but I know the list is a FLNG conversion candidate. I know it's hard to put a timeline around potential conversion, but I was just wondering if you could touch on the potential for such a conversion and when you think something like that could happen and how much EBITDA you would be able to generate from the post conversion?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Either way to think about Gandria while she's in lay off right now. But if you look at the BP contract and the EBITDA that we can generate from that, I think we would be -- if we could get a contract that gave us a similar return and we would go ahead with it. So she's just there as the next potential conversion candidate ready to go.

Liam Farrell -- Citigroup Inc -- Analyst

Got it. I guess on that front, I know you guys don't really put timeline around it, but if you were to kind of give a sense on how long you think it would take from when you got that initial level of interest into when like post conversion can you give some sort of sense on like the number of how long they would -- how long they would take?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

It's almost impossible to say because it means I think we've been talking to BP actively for two years between real serious discussion and review and actually signing of contract. But, what I would say is the level of interest that we've had from large companies of the same size and scale as BP, really taking an interest in both our Mark II, Mark III designs and a Mark I conversion that's really ramped up -- continues to ramp up every quarter. And we're finding different groups of people coming in and getting more and more comfortable with the technology. So it's almost like you have to go through these phases of does FLNG work and I think Hilli proves that. Is it something that is acceptable for a larger publicly owned company for whatever reason, I think BPs tick in the box satisfied that and as a result of that we're getting more interest. So you would hope that the next FLNG contract would be faster than two years, but I certainly don't want to create expectations now of having one just round the corner. These things are hard to get going.

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

I also think it's important to add that what we have seen, every time you do an FLNG, you have three, four years of pretty heavy capital commitments, which goes out and you have no earnings. I think what we compensate in is that let's focus on things which actually can bring earnings in 2020 and 2021 and 2022. Long term before we get annual earnings from FLNG and that's earning, which is effectively based on the assets we've already have invested in. So it doesn't need a lot of CapEx. So it's a very different profile. So I think let's go off to that first try to build the confidence back in the stock that people are making serious money and then we can talk about doing a lot more FLNGs.

Liam Farrell -- Citigroup Inc -- Analyst

That's great Tor. Thank you very much.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Liam.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is from the line of Greg Lewis from BTIG. Please go ahead.

Gregory Lewis -- BTIG -- Analyst

Yes, thank you and good afternoon and actually thanks for squeezing me in at this point. It's interesting and maybe a little inspiring to see you guys try to move into the downstream business in Brazil with the -- on the back of Sergipe project. That being said there probably are going to be some challenges. It's kind of a step out of your business. Is this something where we're going to be looking to hire a team to kind of spearhead this? Is there potential local partners you can partner with? I'm just trying to understand what Golar has to do over the next well I mean I guess what 12 to 18 months to get this in a position where it can actually be successful?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

So it's a good question, I wish you were sitting in our Board meeting. We've already hired our leader and a team. In fact the chap that we've got leading the team has done this rollout before. He's probably the only person who's done it before and we're really impressed with the work that we've done. So we are very advanced in terms of this isn't just an idea. It was an idea when we started talking about this at least 12 months ago on the quarterly calls. when we've said we're looking at using the downstream capacity of -- small scale downstream capacity of the Nanook. There's a lot of work that's been done to prove this up. We think it's real. We're going to move ahead with it and hopefully if not on the next quarter's call, certainly the quarter after that we'll have some significant updates to give in terms of detail around it and how we're moving forward.

Gregory Lewis -- BTIG -- Analyst

Okay. And then just also in the prepared remarks you mentioned some of the problems that are facing the build out of FLNG has been financing of projects. Is it more a function of the terms that are being offered or maybe an overall sense of lack of terms -- of any terms being offered? Is it about pricing or really just the availability of capital to do these projects?

Graham Robjohns -- Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Yes, it's Graham. I think primarily it's -- I mean it's we kind of touched it on the question earlier where we're looking at $700 million facility for the Gimi, which is 50% LTV. So it's the amount of financing during that construction period. That's the challenge. And the pricing on the Gimi financing is not -- it's not that high. It's the amount of debt, but as we said before I think as this market develops that will slowly change. But rather than sitting around and waiting for that, again as we've said, we're looking to have better arrangements with the yard so that we have better payment terms and therefore the financing is not so much of an issue.

Gregory Lewis -- BTIG -- Analyst

Okay. And then just as I mean and just thinking about what you did at Golar Power by bringing in an outside third party investment partner. I mean is that something that we could potentially see with on the FLNG side or at this point there's really no discussions around that type of event?

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

I mean it's feasible. We talk to people all the time who wanted to perhaps participate. I mean if we can get somebody coming into the FLNG business that values the most, as what they are, which is downstream LNG infrastructure facilities and they want to invest with us, what we think they're worth which is maybe 10 times to 12 times EBITDA then you know we're all full out that type of conversation. So we'll see how it plays out. Well we got nothing imminent on that story.

Gregory Lewis -- BTIG -- Analyst

Okay guys, thank you very much for the time.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is from the line of Jason Gabelman from Cowen. Please go ahead.

Jason Gabelman -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Yes. Hey thanks for taking the call. I'll just keep it to one. I was wondering how you envision GMLP fitting into kind of the new structure that you see emerging over the next six months? Clearly the valuation at the MLP seems a bit discounted. Do you see potential to roll that up and kind of move the ships into this new vehicle that you're looking to spin out or do you see potential to do something else with the MLP to kind of realize more of the value that's stuck there right now? Thanks.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

So we're not planning to roll the ships from the MLP into the new spin off company at all. I don't think there's anything more I can comment on the on the MLP, that's something you maybe ask Brian, if he came on the next call.

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

I think we are a large shareholder in the MLP. So, from that point of view we have the same problem as all the other shareholders and then repeat at the valuation. It's low and the yield is high, but I think we are -- there is room for consolidation in the FSRU market. That's certainly something we have always been vocal for. And I think it's also a question about getting the contracts extended. Of course if Hilli is extended, that's a major step forward for GMP. I think if you can get spirit outer layer we're unutilized that's also a major step forward. I think we're working in order to do commercial sensibilities to increase the cost and keep the dividend or grow the dividend, but as a new vehicle to acquire things and using 13% of derivative, it's impossible to use it.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Because the irony is that for some time we've had only short term contracts in GLNG and the way we're moving forward now we're going to have a significant number of long term contracts that would fit very nicely with the MLP.

Jason Gabelman -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Yes, that's a fair point. Thanks for the time.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks Jason.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is from the line of Michael Webber from Wells Fargo. Please go ahead.

Michael Webber -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Hey, guys. Actually I had a follow up. I thought I got back out of the queue, but I'll go and ask since I'm on. You've talked about building out another FLNG project in US Gulf developing downstream in Brazil, I mean there's no shortage of stuff for you guys to look at and the dividend at the parent level is just always seemed a bit incongruent with the stage of the business. You mentioned Troim mentioned earlier buybacks. In terms of just the use of that cash, is that something you guys would think about allocating toward an operational purpose, sometime over the next handful of quarters, especially with financing all these projects one of the consistent hurdles?

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

I think dividend we have this year is costing $60 million. I think you can discuss if that's sustainable or not. It's certainly sustainable today with the cost of having the assistance. Of course, you have a lot of CapEx, but also remember what Graham told to find to stock to. The stock is (inaudible), but it over time pays back in dividend. Dividend it is important. It covers a lot of funds. I'm not saying that the dividend is at the level where it should be returned, but I think the history of this (inaudible). We come from a system where dividend has always been a part of the thing. And I think to take something back to shareholders every year even if you claim that it's inefficient if you have to raise capital, we have to be very limited in raising capital over the last year. And I think we have tried to protect the upside for shareholders. It is a discussion to be had. We are happy to listening to all the shareholders. I'm a shareholder myself as well, so -- I think no decision has been made. I think that if we could pay it last year, we can certainly pay this year and we can certainly pay even more next year.

Michael Webber -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Got you. Okay. Thanks guys.

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

Thanks Mike.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. And there where no further question so I'll come back to the speakers.

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks everybody. So just in closing, we've taken on your comments to try and simplify the Golar business. On that basis and the basis that the shipping market recovers, we expect to proceed with the spin-off of the TFDE fleet. And as we go over the focus on growth in the FLNG business, which is a strong pipeline of prospects and importantly in Golar Power, which is an unique opportunity to use the Nanook as a catalyst to accelerate the displacement of more expensive and more polluting fuels with LNG. So our intention to continue to build long term contract earnings backlog and we believe this will in turn create long term value for shareholders and we intend to do that with as much capital discipline as we can. Thank you for your interest in Golar and we look forward to catching up again next quarter.

Operator

Thank you. That does conclude the conference for today. Thank you for participating and you may now disconnect.

Duration: 67 minutes

Call participants:

Iain Ross -- Chief Executive Officer

Graham Robjohns -- Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Tor Olav Troim -- Chairman of the Board

Jonathan Chappell -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Michael Webber -- Wells Fargo Securities LLC -- Analyst

Randy Giveans -- Jefferies & Company, Inc. -- Analyst

Christopher Snyder -- Deutsche Bank AG -- Analyst

Craig Shere -- Tuohy Brothers -- Analyst

Liam Farrell -- Citigroup Inc -- Analyst

Gregory Lewis -- BTIG -- Analyst

Jason Gabelman -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Michael Webber -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

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