Energy trader BGN International and shipowner Al Seer Marine have clinched a second round of funding for their jointly-owned VLGC newbuildings in South Korea.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) said it led a sharia-compliant syndicated transaction totalling AED 865m ($235m) to finance three new energy-efficient gas carriers.

This financing marks the second tranche of a larger syndication amounting to $370m.

The companies, based in the United Arab Emirates, are building two VLGCs at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and one at Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries, through their joint venture ABGC.

They are due for delivery between 2025 and 2026 and will come with LPG engines.

Also involved in the financing are Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, National Bank of Fujairah, Commercial Bank of Dubai, and a strategic partner from The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of Islamic Development Bank Group.

Mohammed Ali AlFahim, acting global head of wholesale banking at ADIB, said: “The completion of these VLGC vessels will not only enhance the UAE’s maritime position but also contribute to the nation’s role as a critical maritime hub on the global stage and will contribute to decarbonisation efforts in the marine industry.”

Nitin Mathur, head of commercial maritime management at Al Seer, added: “This landmark deal underscores Al Seer Marine’s leadership and vision in the maritime sector.”

“Through the closure of the syndicated financing for ABGC and our strategic partnership with BGN, our position as a leading commercial vessel owner is being realised,” he added.

“This success showcases the increasing confidence and willingness of local and regional banks to invest in the commercial marine sector, reflecting positively on our financial health and prospects.”

BGN, which has offices in Dubai, Geneva, Houston, Rotterdam and Singapore and a presence in 23 countries, is a significant LPG trader and supplier to Indonesia.

Expanding fleet

Last year, BGN put pen to paper on a VLGC joint-venture agreement with Pertamina International Shipping that will kick off with two ships in 2024.

In September, Greece’s Evalend Shipping sold a pair of VLGC newbuildings for $111m each to the venture.

The 91,000-cbm Pertamina Gas Bergenia and Pertamina Gas Tulip (both built 2024) were delivered in January.

Ozan Turgut, head of shipping at BGN, emphasised the trader’s long-term commitment to developing and maintaining a modern fleet to support its global physical trading platform.

“We are growing our logistics capability to create much-needed capacity for our traders who continue to supply the world with transitional fuels such as LPG, ammonia and other commodities,” he said.

ADIB is a leading bank in the UAE with AED 193bn in assets.