Fast growing feeder boxship operator MPC Container Ships has entered into agreements for the acquisition of five scrubbers which are to be retrofitted on five selected vessels within the company’s fleet prior to the January 1, 2020 implementation date of IMO’s new sulphur emission regulations.
The agreements also include options to purchase scrubbers for up to 50 additional vessels, allowing for further installations in both 2019 and early 2020.
MPC said it will be carefully evaluating further scrubber installations, on a vessel by vessel basis, and exercise further options in due course.
“The company sees significant interest from charterers for scrubber-fitted vessels and is in well-advanced negotiations with charterers for mid to longer term charter parties at favourable rates that are expected to yield attractive returns for the company. Simultaneously, the company is evaluating additional charters and seeks to take advantage of the high optionality of its scrubber agreements,” MPC Container Ships said in a release.
The scrubber investment program is expected to be financed with cash on hand and available debt capacity on the company’s existing fleet.
“Having conducted thorough analyses on the subject, we are excited about the opportunity to retrofit selected vessels with scrubbers as an economically attractive alternative of complying with the 2020 sulphur regulations. Moreover, the option to equip a larger portion of our fleet with scrubbers gives MPC Container Ships the strategic flexibility to adapt to new market environments as we deem fit,” said Constantin Baack, CEO of MPC Container Ships.
MPC Container Ships has made a series of ship acquisitions since its inception last year. The company currently operates 69 vessels, and is well on track to reach its stated goal of over 100 ships.