New world leader in green shipping | Maritime giant plans to add 60 hydrogen vessels and 60 ammonia ships




Euronav, the planet's largest independent oil tanker business, is buying and expanding sustainable shipping firm CMB.Tech


The world’s largest independent oil tanker company, Euronav, says it plans to add 120 zero-carbon vessels to its fleet following its $1.15bn acquisition of sustainable maritime firm CMB.Tech — making it the indisputable world leader in clean shipping.


These orders will consist of 60 small compressed-hydrogen-powered ships and 60 ammonia-powered larger vessels — all driven by combustion engines.


Alexander Saverys, the CEO of both Euronav and CMB.Tech, says the new merged company — which will be known as CMB.Tech — will be “the only investable diversified green shipping platform for ESG funds”.


“It is our aim to create the new CMB.Tech, the reference in sustainable shipping, creating value through a diversified fleet and a strong focus on decarbonisation,” he told investors at Euronav’s capital markets day in Antwerp, Belgium, late last week. “We will use, produce, distribute and, in the medium run, transport and carry low-carbon fuels.”


The two Belgian companies — which are due to merge in the coming months following shareholder approval — already operate five ammonia-powered and nine hydrogen ships, with a further 12 H2 boats and 34 NH3 vessels on order.


The merged firm plans to add 20 ammonia-powered bulk carriers, 20 container ships, ten tankers and ten chemical carriers.


It also aims to add 20 hydrogen-powered crew transfer vessels, 20 tugs, ten service operation vessels for offshore wind farms, and ten mini-bulkers.


The combined fleet of 99 ammonia vessels and 83 hydrogen ships are set to make it the world’s largest zero-carbon shipping operator — even though it still plans to transport crude oil.


Total investment in low-carbon assets and green fuel could be $3bn-5bn over five years.


All the new vessels will be dual fuel, meaning that they can also be powered by diesel.


Euronav recently sold 24 of its Very Large Crude Carriers to fellow tanker company Frontline for $2.35bn — money that will be used to buy and invest in the new merged firm.


CMB.Tech is currently owned by Belgian shipping firm CMB, which is privately owned by the Saverys family. CMB also owns 49% of Euronav — one of the reasons both firms share the same CEO.


Euronav — currently a pure-play oil tanker business — will hold a shareholder vote on the merger plan on 7 February.


Alexander Saverys told investors to ask themselves one question: “Do I believe that holding a stock of a company that is a reference green shipping stock will offer more value than continuing to be a company dependent 100% on the transport of crude oil?


“If the answer is yes, I gladly welcome you to take a front seat on board our big fleet of ships — destination: zero-carbon shipping.”



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