Shipowner Celsius Tankers announced it has ordered four new liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers from shipbuilder China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) (CMHI) for scheduled delivery in 2026 and 2027.
Celsius has formed a joint venture with an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners (ArcLight), a middle-market infrastructure investor, to fund two of the LNG carriers. Commodities trading house Gunvor Group Ltd 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 Gunvor subsidiary Clearlake Shipping.
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, Celsius said. The new vessels will be fitted with ME-GA propulsion.
Celsius said the 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.
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, said, "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."