Singapore: One of the best known wheeler dealers in shipping is on the cover of Maritime CEO’s first issue of 2014. Chris Buttery, chairman of Epic Gas, features alongside the ceo of the fast growing gas owner. The pair are just two of 20 shipowners interviewed in the magazine.
Buttery became chairman of Epic Gas in the middle of last year – with his old Pacific Basin partner, Paul Over, also joining the board of the Singapore tanker owner.
Just 14 months ago the industry saw the creation of a new gas carrier owner and operator following the merger of Epic Shipping Holdings and Pantheon. Since then, Epic Gas has been one of the most active owners in Singapore, setting about a rapid expansion to make a big impact in the regionalised pressurised LPG markets.
The company has significant backers including Jefferies Capital Partners and DVB Shipping Intermodal Investment Management (SIIM) and a group of private shareholders.
Including newbuilds Epic now controls a fleet of 40 pressurised LPG ships. Its offices around the world now include London, Tokyo, Hamburg and Manila and Maritime CEO believes a Hong Kong office is also in the offing.
Having the likes of legendary shipping names Chris Buttery and Paul Over onboard – the pair founded, listed, sold and re-established Hong Kong’s Pacific Basin – suggests a listing sometime soon, with speculation rising that New York could be the place for the IPO.
In the cover story Buttery noted similarities of the gas market now and the bulk markets of the early 2000s when he led Pacific Basin in Hong Kong. The significant driving factor back then was bulk and the China story. For Epic, there’s now the gas and shale story. Both are “game changing” events, Buttery said. His thoughts echo the feelings of Siemens president and CEO, Joe Kaeser, who this week described shale gas as “the biggest shift of balance in the global economy since China joined the WTO”.