Celsius Tankers (“Celsius”) is strengthening its existing partnership with independent LNG trading company, Gunvor Group Ltd (“Gunvor”), with the charter of four high-efficiency, modern LNG carriers. These carriers, set to be built by China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) (CMHI), will be instrumental in supporting the increasing LNG activities of Gunvor.
In a strategic move to fund two of the LNG carriers, Celsius has entered into a joint venture with an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners (“ArcLight”), a prominent middle-market infrastructure investor. On the other hand, Gunvor is set to acquire a substantial equity interest in the remaining two newbuilds, marking a first in its history as an independent LNG trading company. All four vessels will be chartered for a long-term period by Clearlake Shipping, a Gunvor subsidiary, with expected delivery between 2026 and 2027.
In line with environmental responsibility, both Celsius and Gunvor are undertaking measures to implement design improvements aimed at minimising environmental impact. The carriers will feature a highly efficient design that significantly reduces CO2 emissions and methane leakage.
This is made possible through the application of air lubrication, enhanced re-liquefication capacity, hull shape optimisation, and the use of high-quality paint systems. Furthermore, the carriers will meet the ABS class with Enviro+ notation, denoting stringent environmental protection standards.
The design of the new vessels is informed by the operational experience from Celsius’ existing fleet, exhibiting the effectiveness of the planned design. The new order will closely resemble the “ultra eco” Celsius vessels currently being built in Korea, but with further improvements in emissions and fuel consumption. The new carriers will be equipped with ME-GA propulsion technology.
Gunvor’s Co-Head of LNG, Kalpesh Patel, said, “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.”