Denmark’s Celsius Tankers, a unit of Celsius Shipping, has signed long-term charter deals for four newbuild LNG carriers with Clearlake Shipping, a subsidiary of energy trader Gunvor.
This deal boosts the total to nine 180,000-cbm LNG carriers that Celsius chartered to Gunvor’s unit following a deal for four vessels announced in October 2021.
LNG Prime reported in December last year, citing shipbuilding sources, that Celsius ordered four 180,000-cbm LNG carriers at China Merchants Heavy Industry in Jiangsu.
Celsius confirmed in a statement issued on Monday that the Chinese shipbuilder will build and deliver the vessels in 2026 and 2027.
The firm said the vessels will feature MAN ME-GA engines and will be built to ABS class with Enviro+ notation.
“These vessels’ highly efficient design minimizes CO2 emissions and methane slip from operations via installation of air lubrication, enhanced reliquefication capacity, optimization of hull shape and use of the best available paint system to reduce the vessels’ friction in water,” it said.
Including this order in China and ten vessels on order at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries, the company’s LNG fleet now counts 18 180,000-cbm vessels.
JV with ArcLight Capital Partners, Gunvor to own stake in two vessels
Celsius said in the statement that it has formed a joint venture with an affiliate of US-based investor ArcLight Capital Partners to fund two of the LNG carriers.
In addition, Gunvor will have a “significant” equity interest in the other two newbuildings, the first for any independent LNG trading company, demonstrating the strength of Gunvor’s global position in the LNG market, Celsius said.
Geneva-based energy and LNG trader Gunvor reported a record net profit of $2.36 billion in 2022.
“We are very pleased to further expand our relationship with Celsius while demonstrating our commitment to the industry, both as charterers and now through our first major equity investment in LNG carriers,” the company’s co-head of LNG, Kalpesh Patel, said in the statement.
“We are very pleased to continue the growth of the LNG fleet and to expand the relationship with Clearlake and Gunvor,” Celsius chairman, Jeppe Jensen, said.
Jensen noted that the firm delivered its first vessel, Celsius Copenhagen, in 2020 to Clearlake to serve a long-term charter deal, and the relationship with Clearlake has further strengthened with this latest transaction.