Marinvest Acquired by Investors as New Methanol Vessels Launch
To grow its position in the emerging methanol transport market and secure future capital, Swedish ship manager Marinvest is being acquired by an investment group. The investors, Clean Sea Transport, is a joint venture between MSEA Group, Arkview Capital, and Scorpio Tankers, and is seeking to promote clean fuels in the shipping sector.
Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Marinvest is a shipping company founded in 1988 by the late Lars Mossberg, an innovator in the shipping sector who developed and managed one of the world’s first methanol-powered commercial vessels. Mossberg validated methanol as a clean, safe, and future-proof marine fuel capable of meeting the industry’s increasingly stringent emissions standards. Today the company manages a fleet consisting of five modern dual-fuel methanol carriers on long-term charters of up to 15 years to a joint venture partner, Waterfront Shipping Limited, a subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, the world’s largest producer of methanol, along with four LR1 ice-class 1A product tankers.
“We take great pride in what we, together with our partners Waterfront Shipping, have achieved in terms of building the world’s first methanol dual-fuel fleet,” said Patrik Mossberg, CEO of Marinvest. “Since we took delivery of our first two dual-fuel methanol ships in 2016, we have expanded the fleet to a total of five vessels and continue to be a leading expert and operator using this technology. The sale to Clean Sea Transport will ensure sufficient capital backing to grow our methanol-fueled fleet using our competence and expertise while servicing new and existing customers.”
Marinvest last month took delivery of the fifth methanol dual-fuel tanker under management and the first of eight being built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard for delivery between 2021 and 2023. The vessels are being built in a partnership with Marinvest/Skagerack Invest, Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Meiji Shipping Co., KSS Line Ltd., and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), to be operated by Waterfront Shipping.
The 49,999 dwt Mari Innovator is the first ship to be IMO Tier III compliant, using an innovative methanol-and-water blending/diesel in water emulsion system in her main engine. Equipped with the MAN second-generation B&W ME-LGIM two-stroke dual-fuel engines, the vessel can run on methanol or traditional marine fuels allowing for fuel flexibility. She also features additional energy-saving designs with a propeller boss cap fin to enhance propeller efficiency, Speed/Fuel Pilot which keeps the consumption to an optimum level, and frequency-controlled pumps and fans. She is also fitted with a power factor compensator for her alternators which brings her power factor to 0.96 (compared with the average 0.84 for most ships), enabling her to save 11 percent more energy. She also has a vessel incinerator capable of evaporating bilge water.
“In partnership with Marinvest, we have been successfully operating methanol dual-fuel vessels for five years now demonstrating methanol as a viable, low-emissions alternative marine fuel for the shipping industry,” said Paul Hexter, President of Waterfront Shipping. “As society transitions to a low-carbon economy, we look forward to collaborating with Clean Sea Transport to continue to prioritize innovation in methanol marine fuel vessels for our growing fleet.”
Members of the new investment group include Scorpio Tankers, which currently owns, finances, leases, or bareboat charters-in 131 product tankers (42 LR2 tankers, 12 LR1 Tankers, 63 MR tankers, and 14 Handymax tankers) as well as MSEA, a shipping investment company with particular expertise in tanker and commodity shipping segments, and Arkview Capital, a minority-certified private equity fund focused on investing in diversity-oriented businesses.
“We are very excited about the acquisition of Marinvest, the world’s pioneer in building and operating eco-friendly methanol-fueled vessels. Together with the Marinvest team, we intend to be at the forefront of the shipping industry’s transition to clean fuels. Our platform will offer charterers and customers access to future-proof tonnage in the tanker, container, and dry bulk segments. The inclusion of four LR1 product tankers in the fleet underpins our counter-cyclical tanker investment strategy,” says Modi Mano, Founder & CEO of MSEA Group.