Hong Kong-listed Asia Energy Logistics has entered into two Memoranda of Understanding (MoA) with Danish Clipper Group to acquire a pair of Handysize bulk carries.
The company is spending a total of USD 20.6 million for the two ships of 32,000 dwt each.
The two bulkers are 2011-built Clipper Selo, whose registered owner is CFCL Handy Clip III, and 2011-built Clipper Panorama, owned by CFCL Handy Clip IV, both part of Clipper Group. The two ships are flagged in the Marshall Islands.
The purchase is being carried out through the company’s subsidiary Lotus Gold Shipping, Asia Energy Logistics said in a regulatory filing.
The company’s shareholders are yet to approve the transaction.
Broker reports had linked Pacific Basin to the purchase of the duo, however, the company denied the rumors in December 2017.
Pursuant to the MOAs, the delivery of the vessels is scheduled to take place in March 2018.
Speaking of the reasons behind the acquisition, the company said that it intends to seize the opportunity to expand the dry bulk vessel business on the back of the improving performance of its shipping and logistics segment and the potential recovery of the international shipping market.
“By building up the group’s own fleet of dry bulk vessels, the average operating costs per vessel is expected to decrease. Moreover, with the flexibility of a fleet of dry bulk vessels (including the existing M.V. Asia Energy of the Group), the group can manage risk exposure of its shipping business operation to the shipping market fluctuation more effectively by way of operating certain dry bulk vessels under long-term chartering contracts with the remaining dry bulk vessels being operated under relative short-term chartering contracts,” the company added.
Upon signing of the MOAs, Asia Energy Logistics inked two legally binding charters with an undisclosed third party for a fixed period of 23-25 months. The charterer has an option to extend the charter period for up to 13 months.