Gunvor Group, one of the largest physical energy trading companies in the world, has entered into a joint venture with Oceangold Tankers and Maas Capital to form ClearOcean Tankers, a new ship holding company. The three partners hold an equal share in ClearOcean Tankers, which has been incorporated in Cyprus.
ClearOcean Tankers has entered into shipbuilding contracts with STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. for four MR2 product tankers, and with Daehan Shipbuilding Co for two LR2 product tankers. All six of the contracted vessels will be delivered during the first half of 2019, and will be eco-friendly and scrubber-ready, in view of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) new standard for lower global sulphur emissions from international shipping that will be implemented in 2020.
Clearlake Shipping, Gunvor’s wholly-owned shipping division, has entered into long-term time charters for the vessels and Oceangold Tankers is also acting as construction supervision and technical manager of the vessels. ClearOcean Tankers may acquire additional newbuilding, resale or second-hand crude oil or product tankers in the future.
Jan Andersen, Head of Shipping at Clearlake, commented: “Expanding into vessel ownership and taking advantage of the historically low shipbuilding prices to contract eco-friendly, scrubber-ready newbuilding tankers represented an attractive opportunity. Teaming up with solid partners like Oceangold Tankers and Maas Capital enables us to control more vessels and to de-risk our investment.”
John Dragnis, CEO of Oceangold Tankers, commented: “We are delighted with the establishment of a unique partnership that brings together one of the largest charterers of product tanker vessels in the world with in-depth market knowledge, a ship owning and management group with unblemished track record and a financial investor with a longstanding track record in the shipping industry.”
Mark Ras, Managing Director of Maas Capital Shipping, commented: “This investment exemplifies our investment approach of acquiring top assets at a compelling price in partnership with top industry participants. We aim to invest together with leading and longstanding industry players and are excited about this new partnership with Gunvor Group and Oceangold Tankers.”