A VLGC trading in the fleet of Japanese energy giant Eneos Corp has reportedly been sold to United Arab Emirates-based interests in what is a rare acquisition type for Middle East shipowners.
Brokers who focus on the gas sector have named ambitious tanker and gas carrier newcomer Al Seer Marine Supplies of Abu Dhabi as the buyer of the 83,000-cbm LPG carrier G Symphony (built 2011) in a transaction valued at $56m.
S&P Global’s International Ships Register lists Mitsubishi Logistics as having been the vessel’s owner since it was first delivered by shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The database list Eneos Ocean Corp as the vessel’s operator during the same period.
Al Seer would neither confirm nor deny reports that it was the buyer.
“As part of a listed company we are unable to comment on market speculation. We have made it clear that we are in the market to buy more ships, and will make announcements at the appropriate time when such deals are concluded,” a senior company executive told TradeWinds.
Al Seer is part of Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange-listed International Holdings Corp, a large conglomerate whose stated aim is to diversify and grow non-oil business sectors in the UAE.
The company initially focused on the building and management of super-yachts, but made a big entry into the tanker and gas sectors when it acquired two large LPG carriers and a pair of VLCCs.
These acquisitions were part of a slew of Sovcomflot (SCF) ships that were disposed of when the Russian tanker and gas carrier giant was sanctioned following the invasion of Ukraine.
Sources close to Al Seer said that sales were conducted by Sovcomflot’s foreign financiers, the banks holding the mortgages on the ships, and there was no direct contact between the two shipowners.
Middle East tanker sources said Al Seer deploys its tankers and gas carriers on a mix of long and short periods, as well as on spot charters.
The company in July announced it was branching out into dry bulk.
Eneos, which TradeWinds approached for comment, maintains a large fleet of owned and chartered tankers, gas carriers and bulk carriers to support its hydrocarbon and mining-related businesses.