Capital Product Partners has confirmed the sale of a trio of container ships, upping the pace of a planned pivot away from the box sector and towards a focus on energy transition.

The New York-listed shipowner said it has sold the 9,954-teu Athos, Atistomenis and Athenian (all built 2011), a day after TradeWinds reported that Germany’s Peter Dohle Schiffahrts had purchased the vessels for $51m each.

Piraeus-based Capital Product did not disclose the sale price or the buyer, which will take delivery of the trio in April.

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The ships included attached charters to Hapag-Lloyd for three years at $27,000 per day, with options for a further two years at about $32,000 per day.

The deal is the biggest sales transaction by the Evangelos Marinakis-backed shipowner since it announced that it would pivot toward LNG and the broader energy transition space.

The company announced late last year that it was gearing up to sell all of its 15 containerships, and it is now nearly halfway there.

TradeWinds reported on Tuesday that Germany’s Reederei Foroohari emerged as the buyer of the ships sold by Capital Product last month.

The 5,500-teu Fos Express and Seattle Express (both built 2008) also had attached charters to Hapag-Lloyd.

The company has also sold the 5,100-teu Long Beach Express (built 2008) to a US buyer as well as the 9,300-teu Akadimos (built 2015).

Capital Product said on Wednesday that it has pulled in about $273m in cash proceeds from the vessel sales, or $183m after paying off debt.

The Jerry Kalogiratos-led company is gearing up to double its LNG carrier fleet after striking a deal to buy nine newbuildings from Marinakis that will be delivered between the second quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2027.

“We do believe that 2026 and 2027 are going to be an interesting space for the LNG business, as this is when the new liquefaction wave is coming online,” Kalogiratos said at the recent Capital Link International Shipping Forum, noting that it is valuable to have open vessels at this time.

“Most projections expect that the LNG trade is expected to grow by 60% by the end of this decade, and most of that is on the back of this new liquefaction capacity.”

But he said the company is also looking at the “wider gas business” with an interest in very large ammonia carriers and liquefied CO2 carriers.

“The idea is for CPLP to become the tonnage provider for the energy transition’s shipping requirements,” he said, referring to the company by its stock ticker symbol.

He said a new company name will be announced at a later date.