Monaco-based bulker owner Scorpio Bulkers has secured a sale and leaseback agreement for one of its Ultramaxes with an unnamed party.
Under the terms of the transaction, the company will sell the 2016-built dry bulk vessel SBI Hermes for USD 20.5 million and then lease it back from the buyer through a five-year bareboat charter agreement at a rate of USD 5,850 per day.
If converted to floating interest rates, based on the expected weighted average life of the transaction, the equivalent cost of financing at current swap rates would be LIBOR plus 1.39% per annum, Scorpio Bulkers said.
The transaction also provides the company with options to repurchase the vessel beginning on the third anniversary of the sale until the end of the bareboat charter agreement.
As informed, this transaction, which shall be treated as a financial lease for accounting purposes, increases the company’s liquidity by approximately USD 11.3 million after repayment of the vessel’s existing loan.
Built in Japan, the Liberia-flagged ship has a capacity of 77,674 cubic meters.
Scorpio Bulkers has an operating fleet of 57 vessels consisting of 56 wholly-owned or finance leased drybulk vessels and one-time chartered-in Ultramax vessel. The company's owned and finance leased fleet has a total carrying capacity of approximately 3.9 million dwt.
Taiwanese shipping company Wisdom Marine Lines has placed an order for two bulkers with Dalian COSCO KHI Ship Engineering (DACKS), according to Intermodal.
The newbuilding duo, featuring 61,530 dwt, fetched a price of USD 30 million.
The new bulkers are scheduled for delivery in 2020.
The order emerges three months after the company ordered the construction of a 82,400 dwt Nox Tier III bulk carrier from Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU).
Wisdom Marine has been very busy with fleet renewal plans this year. In February, the company invested USD 68 million in two new NOx Tier III Kamsarmaxes, which will also be built by JMU. The order came on the back of a similar deal reached with Imabari Shipbuilding in January. Specifically, Imabari will build two 37,800dwt bulker newbuildings for a total of USD49 million.
Not counting the latest order, there are 12 ships under construction for the company at five Japanese yards, based on the company's website data. One ship from the batch is set for delivery this year, three more following in 2019, six in 2020 and the remaining two in 2021.
UK-based shipowner Union Maritime has been linked to a sale-and-purchase agreement for eight Aframax tankers.
According to data provided by VesselsValue, the units were purchased from compatriot BP at a total price of USD108 million.
The ships in question are the British Cormorant, British Cygnet, British Eagle, British Falcon, British Gannet, British Kestrel, British Mallard and British Robin.
Featuring 113,600 dwt and 114,800 dwt, the vessels were built in 2005 and 2006 by South Korea's shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries.
VesselsValue informed that the acquisition deal, revealed on September 21, is subject to financing.
Union Maritime currently operates a fleet of 37 vessels, the majority of which are tankers. The company also has five newbuildings on order, three of which are bulkers and the remaining two are tankers. The newbuildings are scheduled for delivery in 2019 and 2020.
Russian shipping giant Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has signed a set of agreements with Rosneft, Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex and VEB Group, placing orders with Zvezda for a series of two next generation large-capacity Aframax tankers.
One of the largest leasing companies in Russia, VEB-Leasing, will finance the construction of the tankers, while a subsequent 20-year time-charter for them has been agreed with compatriot petroleum company Rosneft.
The vessels will feature 114,000dwt and a 1A/1B ice class, which makes them able to operate all year round in areas with difficult ice conditions, including sub-Arctic seas and Russian ports of the Baltic region.
"The technical specification of the tankers reflects the regulatory limits on sulphur, nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions, which will come into effect for the Baltic and North Seas in 2020,” Sovcomflot said.
These next generation tankers are designed to operate on LNG fuel, providing for a low level of human impact on the environment as they reduce emissions of harmful substances.
"We welcome the plans of the Russian shipbuilders, from Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex, to create modern large-capacity vessels using natural gas-based bunkers (LNG) as their primary fuel. I'm sure that it is with such vessels that the future of merchant shipping lies,” Sergey Frank, President and CEO of PAO Sovcomflot, said.
The keel laying ceremony for Dream Cruises' Global Class flagship, featuring 204,000 gross ton, took place at MV Werften's Rostock shipyard yesterday.
The first section, with a length of 22 meters, width of 26 meters and weighing 410 tons, about half of the full keel, marks the start of construction of the largest cruise ship ever built in Germany.
"The Global Class is designed from the keel upwards for the Asian sourced market, which requires more exciting public areas and larger cabins than traditional cruise ships and, supported by the world's leading technology and digital systems for Asians, who are more used to digital technology,”said Genting Hong Kong's Executive Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay.
"We are creating something truly great. After an intensive engineering and design phase, yesterday's keel laying marks the next stage of the manufacturing process of MV's first giant, its dock assembly,”added Peter Fetten, managing director at MV Werften.
Production of the 204,000 gross ton ship, which will be 342 meters long and over 46 meters wide, will take place in parallel in Wismar and Rostock.
The 220-meter-long midship will be manufactured in Rostock. It will be moved to Wismar in 2019, where the bow and stern, as well as the superstructures, will be mounted.
The Global Class ships, capable of accommodating up to 5,000 passengers, were designed for the rapidly growing Asian cruise market.
Newly formed Klaveness Combination Carrier is launching a contemplated private placement of shares with total gross proceeds of approximately USD 45-70 million as part of its fleet growth initiative.
As disclosed, current investors, management and previous CABU investors will subscribe for USD25 million.
The company was launched in April 2018 to own and operate modern combination carriers by providing environmentally friendly transportation system with the lowest carbon emissions in the industry, as explained then by Klaveness.
To do so, the company is building a new generation of green vessels compliant with the latest ballast water management and sulphur reduction regulations. Namely, the combination carrier owner and operator has nine CABU vessels in operation and five CLEANBU vessels on order.
Klaveness Combination Carriers holds several options for CLEANBU vessels at Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding Co. in China, which are "attractively priced".
"KCC intends to use the proceeds from the contemplated private placement to declare one or more options for the construction of further CLEANBUs,” the company announced.
"The additions of the CLEANBUs to the fleet will further strengthen KCC's competitive position in the Caustic soda market and facilitate the expansion into the CPP market. Our unique service offering will give potential CPP customers substantial freight savings, high quality operation and a far more environmentally friendly transportation solutions than standard tankers,” says Engebret Dahm, Managing Director of KCC, said.
The additional ships have scheduled deliveries between 3Q 2020 and 1Q 2021.
"KCC has several attractive growth opportunities and we are happy to invite new investors to join the growth and development of this company. With its superior customer value and investor return, we believe this is a unique opportunity to capitalize on a solid business platform perfectly positioned for increasing fuel costs and increasing environmental awareness,” Lasse Kristoffersen, CEO of Torvald Klaveness and Chairman of KCC, added.
The application period for the private placement is expected to on September 21, 2018. Once the transaction is completed, Klaveness Ship Holding AS (KSH) will own above 50% of the share in KCC, remaining the controlling owner.
Japanese shipbuilder Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co has won orders for three Post Panamax bulkers pertaining to its new 'neo 87BC' eco ship design.
The company behind the order has not been revealed nor the price details of the contract.
Mitsui said that its 87,000dwt neo series vessels comply with IACS Harmonized Common Structural Rules (H-CSR).
Other environmentally-friendly features of the design include an electronic control type main engine which is compliant with the IMO NOx Tier III Regulation.
The vessels are designed for the use of low sulphur fuel oil and can be fitted with SOx scrubbers as an optional solution.
The newly ordered trio will be delivered from the second half of 2020, the company said.
Ocean Network Express (ONE) has taken delivery of its third magenta coloured containership, the 14,000teu ONE Aquila.
The vessel was built by Kure Shipyard of Japan Marine United Corporation. The ship's sublet owner is Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), one of the three founders of ONE, the other two being K Line and MOL.
"The vessel employs a hull form that allows improved cargo-loading efficiency achieved by minimized engine-room space," ONE said announcing the delivery.
"Moreover, the vessel applies the duel system in its main engine which is capable to choose two other output ranges (high and low) that allows flexible operation and improved fuel-consumption rate, resulting in a significant reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. The navigation bridge has adopted the Integrated Navigation System (INS) which consolidates functions of vessel systems.”
The vessel joins 14,000 TEU-class vessel ONE Minato and the 8,542teu ONE Commitment, which were handed over to their owner in July and May 2018, respectively.
ONE Minato was built by Imabari shipbuilding while ONE Commitment, previously known as MOL's Postpanamax containership MOL Commitment, underwent a makeover in Singapore, becoming the first boxship of the brand to boast the color.
ONE Aquila will phase in THE Alliance's Asia to North America (West Coast) PN3 service with its port rotation Hong Kong, Yantian, Ningbo, Shanghai, Pusan, Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Seattle, Pusan, Kwangyang, and Hong Kong.
Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company Ltd. (DSIC) and classification society DNV GL have signed a joint development project (JDP) agreement to develop a new 23,000 TEU LNG fueled ultra large container vessel (ULCV).
The JDP is focused on delivering a design which is ready for construction and reflects upcoming market trends and incoming regulations.
"In developing this new 23,000 TEU LNG fuelled ULCV design, we will show that DSIC can deliver vessels at the cutting edge of the market after two 20,000 TEU container vessels were successfully delivered to COSCO SHIPPING Group this year,” said Mr. Yang Zhi Zhong, President of DSIC.
"We see a continuing strong market for ULCV vessels, with lower slot costs especially valued on the main trading routes. At the same time the expansion in bunkering infrastructure in both China and Europe means that LNG is becoming a viable solution for container vessels, lowering costs and ensuring compliance with incoming regulations."
Russian shipping company Sovcomflot has exercised an option for the construction of a 174,000 cubic metre LNG carrier, the company said.
The order was placed at the end of July and the vessel is scheduled for delivery in September 2020.
Further details of the order had not been disclosed.
The likely builder of the LNG carrier is Hyundai Heavy Industries, which is already bulding a large LNG carrier for Sovcomflot. The 174,000 cbm ship was ordered in January 2018, based on the data from VesselsValue.
At the end of H1, the group had eight vessels under construction, scheduled for delivery from July 2018 to February 2020, comprising six ice-class LNG fuelled Aframax tankers, one Arctic shuttle tanker and one LNG carrier. All newbuilding ships are taking shape in Korea at three separate yards, HHI, Hyundai Samho and Samsung Heavy Industries.
Commenting on the subsequent events, Sovcomflot said it took delivery of the ice-class LNG-Fueled Aframax tanker M/V Gagarin Prospect from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries at the end of July.
The company has also secured a seven-year USD interest swap transaction with an undisclosed financial institution aimed at hedging exposure to interest rate fluctuations on USD42 million loan previously signed for the vessel's financing.
The order is being revealed as SCF plunged to a net loss of USD57.8 million in the first half of 2018 amid historically low tanker freight rates.
The company said the loss was party due to a non-cash vessel value impairment provision of USD42.2 million in relation to a number of older crude oil and oil product tankers, reflecting a reassessment of their longer-term value in use.
The Russian shipping major further added that during the period the conventional tanker freight rates were still well below the average levels seen over the last quarter of a century. Spot tanker earnings in H1 2018 saw a substantial decline and, for some market segments, remained more than 50 per cent below the levels of H1 2017.
"During the first half of 2018, our gas transportation and offshore services returned double digit growth in revenues and operating profits, fully in line with the group's development strategy. Fixed income from these industrial shipping businesses grew to account for 59.1 per cent of Sovcomflot's total TCE revenue compared to 48.5 per cent share in 1H 2017.
"The group continues to pursue its strategic vision of industrializing its business-portfolio, its fleet and developing new fixed revenue streams to sidestep the cyclical nature of the conventional tanker markets, which have hit new lows in 2018 after an already testing 2017,” said Sergey Frank, President and CEO of PAO Sovcomflot.