TORM takes stake in scrubber maker
Following in the footsteps of Frontline, Danish product tanker operator TORM has taken a stake in a scrubber manufacturing enterprise.
It has established a joint venture with ME Production, a leading scrubber manufacturer, and Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI), which is part of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation group. The joint venture, ME Production China, will manufacture and install scrubbers in China and deliver them to a range of maritime industry customers for both newbuildings and retrofitted vessels. TORM holds an ownership stake of 27.5% in the new joint venture.
In a statement announcing the project Executive Director of TORM Jacob Meldgaard said “Our long-standing relationships with GSI and ME Production helped to facilitate this unique joint venture at a time when demand for scrubbers is expected to increase significantly. This strategic move provides us with a substantial economic interest in a venture that has the potential to be a large-scale international scrubber manufacturer. It will also result in TORM obtaining attractive prices for the scrubber investments that already have a short payback time”.
TORM has ordered a total of 16 scrubbers with ME Production China and signed a letter of intent for additional 18 scrubbers with the new joint venture. With these orders, TORM has committed to install scrubbers on 21 vessels and potentially up to 39 vessels or roughly half of the company’s fleet. The CAPEX related to the confirmed scrubber orders is on average estimated below $2m per scrubber including installation costs. TORM expects to be able to obtain financing for a significant portion of this investment.
“We are very pleased to enter into a joint venture that will leverage the synergies of a leading scrubber manufacturer, one of the world’s largest shipyards and TORM, one of the world’s largest product tanker companies. In addition to the economic potential of the joint venture, it allows us to secure availability of high-quality scrubbers, which could pose a challenge to some owners as we approach the 2020 deadline for sulphur compliance set by IMO,” said Head of Technical Division at TORM Jesper S. Jensen.