Hong Kong’s Pacific Basin Shipping is stepping up its decarbonisation efforts in cooperation with Japan’s Nihon Shipyard and trader Mitsui & Co.

The shipowner said the partners will investigate the development of zero-emission vessels and investment in future fuels-related bunkering infrastructure.

Nihon Shipyard, a partnership between Japan’s two largest shipbuilders, Imabari Shipbuilding and Japan Marine United, is focusing on the design and construction of eco-friendly ships for a zero-emission future, Pacific Basin added.

Mitsui’s extensive experience and scale, on the other hand, will be used to look at options for bunkering new zero-carbon fuels.

The trader will also seek “mutual benefits in the ordering of zero-emission vessels”.

Pacific Basin chief executive Martin Fruergaard said the partnership is exciting.

“Through this agreement, Pacific Basin will continue to be at the forefront of development within the industry, as we accelerate the transition and make zero-emission-ready vessels the default choice by 2030, and enable us to meet our target of zero emissions by 2050,” he added.

Mitsui said that energy solutions are a strategic focus area for the company.

They comprise a new growth opportunity that will contribute to decarbonisation, the trader added.

Massive 2021 profit

Pacific Basin has just enjoyed its best-ever year in strong bulker markets.

The huge 2021 net profit of $844.8m was the best in its 34-year history.

The figure was boosted by the reversal of a $152m vessel impairment taken in 2020.

This decision was taken “in light of the significantly improved dry bulk market and the increase in ship values”, the company said.