CPLP: Further expansion with $756 mln investment in liquid CO2 & LPG-Ammonia Carriers

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Capital Product Partners L.P., an international owner of ocean-going vessels, announced an important strategic investment in 10 latest technology gas carriers.

Highlights of the transaction

Investment in 10 new gas carriers (the “Gas Fleet”) for USD 756.0 million with expected deliveries between the first quarter of 2026 and the third quarter of 2027

Six vessels are Dual Fuel Medium Gas Carriers (“MGCs”) and four are Liquid CO2 Handy Multi Gas Carriers (“LCO2s”)

Key strategic expansion with an eye to the energy transition, adding complementary gas capability to core Liquefied Natural Gas (“LNG”) competence and including pioneering vessels in the transportation of LCO2 and ammonia

Transaction expected to be funded using cash at hand obtained primarily from the sales of container vessels and debt financing

Mr. Jerry Kalogiratos, Chief Executive Officer of our General Partner, said: “I am delighted to see the Partnership taking a significant step in becoming a diversified gas transportation company with a focus on the energy transition. The addition of these 10 state of the art, high specification vessels will allow us to provide our existing customers such as utilities, energy companies and traders with a full range of vessels for all their gas transportation needs, increasing our footprint and reach in the market. While LNG will remain our core competence, with an expected delivered fleet of 18 latest generation LNG carriers by 2027, this transaction puts a strong emphasis on the energy transition, as these new acquisitions will have the capability to move Liquefied Petroleum Gas (“LPG”), ammonia, butane, propylene and liquid CO2. The ship building berths secured are valuable early slots within a very tight ship building market and at highly reputable shipyards for these types of vessels. This strategic investment not only strengthens our market position, but also aligns us with the future of energy transportation, ensuring we remain at the forefront of the industry.”

Transaction details

The Partnership today announces a further continuation of its expansion into the gas sector through the acquisition of six MGCs and four LCO2s, with expected deliveries from the first quarter of 2026 to the third quarter of 2027. This is a unique opportunity undertaken by CPLP to increase its footprint into the conventional gas and energy transition gas sectors, whilst retaining the core focus on LNG.

Despite a ship building market which remains very tight in terms of new vessel slot availability, the Partnership has secured these valuable early slots at highly experienced shipyards for these types of vessels. The delivery schedule is attractive with demand fundamentals for the LPG, ammonia and the carbon capture, utilisation and storage (‘CCUS’) business expected to be very strong going forward.

The MGC vessels to be acquired are in line with our strategy of acquiring high specification, versatile vessels, which can offer our charterers reduced unit freight cost. They are among a new generation of MGCs that are dual fuel (can burn both LPG and Fuel Oil) and have shaft generators, as well as other energy saving devices, while they offer increased capacity of 15%-30% compared to older generation MGCs. The combination of higher capacity, energy savings and cheaper fuel (LPG) offers very attractive unit freight cost economics, which we expect to command a significant premium compared to their older counterparts, reflecting substantial advancements in both design and technology.

The LCO2s are unique vessels that we believe will place CPLP at the forefront of energy transition shipping, as they represent ground-breaking technology in maritime transport. These vessels offer unparalleled trading flexibility, as they are capable of transporting liquid CO2, LPG, and ammonia. Featuring a low-pressure system, they ensure the lowest unit freight cost and are being constructed at high operational specifications, including but not limited to, multiple cargo systems, reinforced cargo tanks, bow and stern thrusters and ice class capabilities. Furthermore, they are alternative-marine-power-ready and with options for ammonia propulsion and/or onboard carbon capture, thus potentially significantly reducing carbon emissions. With the capacity to move more than 1 million tonnes2 of liquid CO2 annually, these vessels are expected to be the workhorses of the ammonia and liquid CO2 industries.

By acquiring these vessels, CPLP is rapidly redeploying the gross proceeds, after debt repayment, from the sale of seven container vessels sold from February 2024 to May 2024, amounting to a total of $182.5 million together with other cash at hand and debt financing. This recycling of capital from older to new clean technology is aligned with our commitment to increase our footprint in gas and energy transition shipping.

Fleet Update

Pursuant to the agreement to acquire 11 LNG/Cs provided under the Umbrella Agreement entered into on November 13, 2023 (the “Umbrella Agreement”), the Partnership took delivery on May 31, 2024 of the LNG/C Assos (174,000 cbm, latest generation, two stroke MEGA LNG/C, built at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd). The vessel commenced her ten-year employment with Tokyo Gas.

The vessel acquisition was financed through the payment of 10% of the acquisition price on the closing of the Umbrella Agreement on December 21, 2023, along with a new Japanese operating lease with call option (“JOLCO”) arranged by BNP Paribas of $240.0 million and $9.3 million cash at hand. The JOLCO has an escalating quarterly amortization and a balloon payment of $164.4 million payable at the end of its eight-year term.