New York-based Hartree Maritime Partners and Arne Fredly’s Hunter Group are forming a VLCC pool for ships fitted with scrubbers. The two parties will kick off with 11 new DSME-built VLCCs in the pool.
“It is Hartree and Hunter’s intention to form a new scrubber fitted pool to operate this fleet of eleven eco VLCC vessels. By combining Hartree’s global trading and chartering experience and Hunter’s technical knowledge this pool will serve to minimize operational costs whilst maximizing earnings. We will be working with other scrubber fitted VLCC operators to expand this pool,” commented Guy Merison, managing director of Hartree Maritime Partners.
Hartree Maritime Partners is backed by Guggenheim Capital while Hunter Group has Fredly as the largest shareholder, as well as several other well-known Norwegian investors involved including Arne Blystad, the Sundt family, the Wilhelmsen family and Fredrik Halvorsen.
“[C]harterers are showing strong interest to time charter tonnage fitted with the technology,” brokers Gibson reported in a report in July, adding: “Recently, there have been several T/C deals with all oil majors, where a notable premium has been paid for tonnage fitted with scrubbers compared to tankers without the technology on board.”
Charterers of VLCCs will have to pay 33% more for ships without scrubbers once the global sulphur cap kicks in on January 1, 2020, according to significant analysis from tanker brokers Poten & Partners issued last month.