Commodities trading house Gunvor Group 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 hasn’t wasted time and has already 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) 2020 Sulphur cap.
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.
A joint release from the trio hints that this is likely to be the first among many future investments of ClearOcean Tankers, which may involve additional newbuilding orders, resale or second-hand crude oil or product tanker acquisitions.
“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,” Jan Andersen, Head of Shipping at Clearlake, said.
John Dragnis, CEO of Oceangold Tankers, added that the partnership 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.