Japanese shipowner Mitsui OSK Lines and trader Mitsui & Co have formed a new floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) alliance by taking stakes in domestic operator Modec.

MOL said it has spent ¥12.8bn ($94m) on an issue of 10m new shares in the company, with Mitsui & Co buying the same amount.

This gives them stakes of 14.86% each as the joint second-largest shareholders in Modec, which controls 18 units, with another being converted.

The purchases are part of a new business cooperation, with MOL hinting at moving Modec into new low-carbon fuel sectors.

“Modec has an exceptionally strong track record to prove its excellence,” the giant Japanese shipowner said.

"We aim to open new horizons together in our efforts towards [the] decarbonisation era," MOL added.

The move will further strengthen the owner’s relationship with Modec and Mitsui.

In 2019, the three companies teamed up to provide a 900,000-barrel FPSO in Mexico.

They invested in Area1 Mexico MV34, a Dutch company established by Modec to engage in FPSO leasing, operations and maintenance services.

MOL’s holding of the MV34 stake is 30%, while Mitsui and Modec each have 35%.

MV34 has a charter agreement with Eni Mexico, the operator of Area 1 block.

Brazilian business

Earlier that same year, Modec brought in its partners to help develop its FPSO project for Petrobras in Brazil.

They worked with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (MES) to provide a unit chartered to the oil major for 21 years.

Modec was left with a 20.1% stake in the project, with Mitsui on 32.4% and MOL on 20.6%.

The idea now is to leverage management resources to strengthen the competitiveness of the offshore business, MOL said on Friday.