Capital Product Partners boosts fleet with 3 energy-efficient LNG carriers

Greece-based shipowner Capital Product Partners L.P. (CPLP) has agreed to acquire three 174,000 cbm latest generation X-DF LNG carriers from CGC Operating Corp.

As informed, the ship trio will be bought for total consideration of $599.5 million.

The three LNG carriers in question are Aristos I built in 2020, and Aristarchos and Aristidis I built in 2021, all three constructed at South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

The Aristos I and the Aristarchos are expected to be delivered to CPLP by 15 September, while the Aristidis I is expected to be handed over to its new owner by the end of November 2021.

The Aristos I and the Aristidis I are under long-term time charters with BP Gas Marketing Limited, while the Aristarchos is chartered to Cheniere Marketing International LLP.

The acquisition is to reduce the average fleet age from 10.4 years to 8.8 years. Importantly, the LNG carriers are expected to be approximately 23% more energy efficient compared to the 2020 fleet average of CPLP in terms of their Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER – g-CO2 /ton mile) and are expected to further reduce the environmental footprint of the partnership in terms of other greenhouse emissions, as their primary propulsion fuel is natural gas, Capital Product Partners said.

Capital Product Partners prepares for further fleet expansion

CPLP also revealed it secured an option to acquire an additional three X-DF LNG sister vessels at an average price of $207.7 million per vessel. The optional vessels are all built in 2021 and are chartered to BP, Cheniere and Engie Energy Marketing Singapore Pte Ltd.

The purchase option may be exercised individually as to any optional vessel at any time on or prior to November 1, 2021, the company added.

In addition, the company has obtained from Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. (CMTC) a right of first offer on six vessels (ROFO vessels) comprising three 13,278 TEU eco container vessels with a 10-year charter to Hapag Lloyd Aktiengesellschaft and expected delivery between October 2022 and May 2023, and three LNG carriers with expected delivery in January, October and December 2023.

“We are very pleased to have concluded this transformative transaction for the partnership with the acquisition of these three, brand new, high specification LNG carriers at a time, when the LNG market is exhibiting strong long-term fundamentals,” Jerry Kalogiratos, Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership’s General Partner, commented.

“The acquisition … is an emphatic step towards reducing the environmental footprint of the partnership and being part of the transition to carbon neutral shipping.”

“Moreover, we have managed to complete this transaction with minimal use of new equity, while securing for the partnership additional growth opportunities through the optional vessels and ROFO Vessels, providing visibility of a robust pipeline of high-quality growth for the partnership.”

CPLP currently owns 16 vessels, including 12 Neo-Panamax container vessels, three Panamax container vessels and one Capesize bulk carrier.