Clarksons Project Finance Shipping in Oslo is being boosted by increased activity from foreign shipowners.

“On the back of the increased deal volume, we are experiencing heightened interest from foreign shipowners seeking financing through the Norwegian syndicate market,” Clarksons said in an email to TradeWinds.

Over the past three years, Clarksons Project Finance has closed deals totalling about $900m across nearly all segments, including offshore.

“We have experienced a substantial rise in activity in the later years as the shipping and offshore markets have improved,” the dealmaker said.

This year, Clarksons Project Finance Shipping surpassed $2.5bn in equity raised and achieved a total deal size of over $6bn since the company’s inception in 2004.

Last year, the firm concluded projects for about $200m, mainly in asset plays in chemical tankers, bulkers and platform supply vessels, acquiring 11 ships in total.

This year, Clarksons Project Finance has taken delivery of three 1,400-teu container vessels that were ordered back in 2021 against long-term contracts, with a fourth container ship set to be delivered in July.

It has also taken delivery of a 17,500-dwt chemical tanker and a fish farming slaughter boat, and ordered a 15,000-dwt multipurpose/heavylift vessel due for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2026.

The total value of this year’s deals is about $350m, including transactions worth more than $160m in the PSV segment.

“The offshore industry has been underinvested for years, particularly in the multipurpose support vessel segment,” the firm said.

Offshore vessel demand revives

Since the offshore downturn began in 2014, there were no newbuildings ordered until December 2023, when the first multipurpose supply vessel was ordered. The demand for offshore vessels that can work across segments such as renewables, geo-seismic, subsea construction and oil and gas has picked up considerably, according to Clarksons Project Finance.

“Most likely we will see the pace of ordering offshore vessels pick up, however, with a limit to how quickly Western suppliers of equipment can deliver to the yards, prices will most likely increase,” it said.

The project finance team also believes there is a good potential for continued profits in the chemical tanker space and is searching for further interesting projects.

“We have also been monitoring the feeder container segment for some time, and we see that it’s now possible to structure interesting projects as the operators are now looking at two to three-year period charters at interesting rate levels again,” Clarksons Project Finance said.

The investor base includes large funds, family offices and shipping investors and shipowners, which creates “an experienced pool of partners who collaborate on the strategic decisions of the projects”.

Clarksons Project Finance’s shipping portfolio comprises 42 vessels comprising 17 bulkers, six product/chemical tankers, two container vessels, five PSVs, seven MPPs and five cruise ships.

The total market value of the current fleet is about $700m.

That represents a decrease from last year, when the firm sold 16 vessels.

The sales were mainly in the dry bulk and tanker segments, which contributed to a total of about $170m in capital distributions across the project portfolio last year.

The average internal rate of return on last year’s exited projects was about 30%.

Clarksons Project Finance Shipping is led by the joint managing partners Axel Aas and Christian Svensson.

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