Christian Andersen is disappointed with some of his peers in the VLGC markets this month for accepting lower rates; the market could have held out for better, he reckons.
The other frustration regarding the markets for the acquisitive founder of Avance Gas is the paucity of well-priced ship targets.
“We are always looking for opportunities to expand our fleet,” Andersen tells Maritime CEO, saying the plan is to keep the company a pure-play VLGC brand. “It is difficult to find sales candidates at interesting price levels,” Andersen admits.
Avance Gas’s current fleet has 14 modern VLGCs trading.
While Andersen was unable to take over rival Aurora a couple of years ago he has not given up hope of leading more consolidation in this gas sector that has already seen considerable merger activity.
“We are supportive of M&A and consolidation,” he tells Maritime CEO.
On the future of the markets, Andersen, who founded Avance 11 years ago, is bullish, hence his irritation with some rivals for taking lower rates in the past week.
“We are optimistic for the freight market going forward,” Andersen says. “The orderbook is getting back to normalised levels and new ordering has been limited recently.”
Moreover, Andersen predicts that there are a number of ships less likely to continue to compete in the competitive freight market from 2020 when the global sulphur cap kicks in.
Avance’s own plans for how it will handle the incoming legislation are due to be revealed soon.