VLCC tie up could lead to scrubber fitted VLCC pool

Paul Gunton
Paul Gunton
ShipInsight

25 October 2018


Norwegian investment and shipowning organisation Hunter Group has been appointed by US-based Hartree Maritime Partners to act as technical newbuild supervisors in respect of the latter’s newbuilding VLCCs.

Hartree’s four VLCC are to be constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering between November 2018 and April 2020. The Senior Technical Advisor will use its best efforts to ensure that the Hartree Vessels and the Hunter Vessels are identical to the maximum extent possible.

“Hunter Group is very pleased to have been given the opportunity to provide newbuilding supervision services to Hartree. We believe this agreement will provide both companies with significant cost savings and synergies. Our experienced technical team is now responsible for the building supervision of 11 “sister vessels” all to be constructed at “DSME” between October 2018 and August 2020. Hunter Group ASA is also very pleased to have found a partner that shares the same high standards in business practices and we look forward to working with Hartree on this venture,” said Erik Frydendal, CEO of Hunter Group.

“Hartree Maritime Partners LLC is equally pleased to be working with Hunter Group ASA in provision of technical newbuild supervision for the construction of the eleven sister DSME VLCC vessels. It is Hartree and Hunter’s intention to form a new scrubber fitted pool to operate this fleet of eleven eco VLCC vessels. By combining Hartree’s global Trading and Chartering experience and Hunter’s technical knowledge this pool will serve to minimise operational costs whilst maximising earnings. We will be working with other scrubber fitted VLCC operators to expand this pool,” said Guy Merison, managing director of Hartree Maritime Partners.

The move is the latest in a series of recent developments where scrubbers have featured strongly. Despite criticism from the likes of Intertanko and the Union of Greek Shipowners, scrubbers seem to have suddenly found favour as a means of meeting the 2020 sulphur cap reduction. Most analysts expect that vessels fitted with scrubbers will command a premium over vessels obliged to burn distillate fuels.