Exmar has sold its mooring ropes subsidiary to boost its newbuilding drive.

The Belgian LPG carrier owner announced on Tuesday that it had sold Bexco to Bekaert, netting €40m ($43.5m) in cash as part of its “strategy to focus on investing in a state-of-the-art fleet”.

“The sale of Bexco creates value for Exmar, allowing us to invest in the rejuvenation of our fleet and continue to be a pioneer in the handling, transportation and transformation of gaseous molecules,” Exmar chief executive Carl-Antoine Saverys said.

“We are convinced Bexco will be able to continue their growth under the new shareholding of Bekaert.”

Clarksons says Exmar has six 45,000-cbm ships on order at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard through Exmar LPG, a joint venture with Stonepeak’s Seapeak.

One is set for delivery in November, one in February 2025 and four in 2026.

Two of the 2026 ships can run on ammonia alongside LPG, while the other four all run on LPG.

The dual-fuel ships were ordered in March and each cost $80.5m. The others are just over $75m each.

As it stands, Exmar LPG has 15 LPG carriers in its fleet, while Exmar itself has 13.

Francois Desne, Bekaert’s ropes group head, said: “We believe that joining forces with Bexco creates a synthetic ropes technology leader that offers an attractive combination for customers in the field of lifting and mooring for offshore energy and marine applications.”

Bekaert works in the steel wire transformation and coatings industries.

It is headquartered in the Belgian town of Zwevegem.