Celsius Tankers (“Celsius”) expand their partnership with Gunvor Group Ltd (“Gunvor”) in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector with the chartering of four highly efficient, modern LNG carriers. The vessels, to be constructed by China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) (CMHI), will support the growing LNG activities of Gunvor, one of the leading independent LNG trading companies in the world.
Celsius has formed a joint venture with an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners (“ArcLight”), a leading middle-market infrastructure investor, to fund two of the LNG carriers. 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. All four vessels will enter long-term time charters with Clearlake Shipping, a subsidiary of Gunvor. Delivery will take place during 2026 and 2027.
Celsius and Gunvor are committed to push boundaries for available design improvements to reduce environmental impact. 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. The vessels will be built to ABS class with Enviro+ notation for improved criteria for environmental protection.
Operational experience from Celsius’ current vessels demonstrates the efficiency of this design. The new order for four vessels at CMHI will be similar to the “ultra eco” Celsius vessels on order in Korea with improvements for emissions and reduced fuel consumption. The new vessels will be fitted with ME-GA propulsion.
Gunvor’s Co-Head of LNG, Kalpesh Patel, remarked: “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. Importantly, these vessels are in line with Gunvor’s commitment to cut Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 40% by 2025. We have further committed to convert 100% of our fleet to eco-vessels by 2027. Gunvor imposes strict Carbon Intensity ratings in our vetting process, and these efficient vessels are critical for Gunvor as we strive to deliver physical energy to our customers with the lowest possible carbon footprint.”
Celsius Chairman, Jeppe Jensen, said: “We are very pleased to continue the growth of the LNG fleet and to expand the relationship with Clearlake and Gunvor. Celsius Copenhagen, our first LNG carrier, was delivered to Clearlake in 2020, and the relationship with Clearlake has further strengthened with this latest transaction. We are very pleased to further develop this business and to continue to deliver competitive and efficient services to Clearlake and Gunvor Group Ltd.”
With this transaction, Celsius Tankers’ LNG fleet now counts 18 x 180,000 CBM vessels technically managed in-house by Celsius Tech Limited.
ArcLight Partner, Lucius Taylor, commented: “This investment is highly complementary to ArcLight’s thesis in strategic natural gas infrastructure. We are excited to partner with Celsius, a highly sophisticated ship owner and operator with industry leading ESG credentials.”
About Gunvor Group
Gunvor is one of the world’s largest independent commodities trading houses by turnover, creating logistics solutions that safely and efficiently move physical energy from where it is sourced and stored to where it is demanded most. Gunvor has strategic investments in industrial infrastructure — refineries, pipelines, storage and terminals — and in shipping assets that together complement our core trading activity and generate sustainable value across the global supply chain for our customers. The company, which in 2022 generated US $150 billion in revenue on 165 million MT of volumes, is also one of the leading independent global traders of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
About Celsius Tankers
Celsius Group is a leading ship owner and operator focusing on sustainable, infrastructure-like investments and special opportunities within the maritime industry. Celsius Group has a diversified fleet of +40 vessels across LNGCs, Product & Chemical Tankers as well as Container Feeders including newbuildings on order. Celsius Tankers’ LNGC fleet now totals 18 ultra efficient vessels, four vessels in operation and 14 Newbuildings on order. Celsius Group has an active approach to ESG including employee well being, reduction in carbon emissions and health & safety. Celsius Group has committed to the UN sustainable Development Goals with special focus on climate action, decent work and economic growth and life below water.
ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC is an experienced, middle-market, value add infrastructure investment firm. Founded in 2001, ArcLight helped establish infrastructure as an asset class by pioneering an asset-based private equity approach to investing in infrastructure and has since built an experienced and successful investment platform. Based in Boston, U.S.A., ArcLight’s investment team employs a value-added, operationally intensive investment approach that benefits from its dedicated in-house technical, operational, and commercial specialists and partners, as well as the firm’s approximately 1,800-person asset management operational partner. More information about ArcLight can be found at www.arclight.com.