Eneos cites capex and regulatory costs for sale of 49 ships to NYK

Japan’s NYK Line, already a leader in energy shipping, plans to further consolidate the industry with a deal that will make Eneos Ocean’s non-crude oil business a subsidiary. NYK is emphasizing the opportunities for economies of scale, quality control, cost competitiveness and growth from the 49-vessel deal.

Eneos said that based on the increased investment requirements, it had determined that the optimal solution was to have a new owner for the shipping business that could provide a growth strategy. The company cited recent increases in ship prices, the need to respond to global environmental regulations, including CO2 emissions, and the challenges of improving safety and streamlining operations.

Under the terms of the agreement, a new company will be formed to operate a fleet of LNG vessels, product tankers and cargo vessels currently controlled by Eneos Ocean. NYK will own 80 percent of the new company, which will be structured as a subsidiary of NYK. In addition to the vessels, the new company will consist of a total of 16 companies, including an operating company and a ship management company in Singapore. The new agreement is expected to close by April 2025.

“In the energy transportation industry, we intend to strengthen our efforts, mainly in the LNG/LPG vessel business, which we position as a growth business, and fulfill our responsibility for stable energy transportation as an infrastructure company. This transaction is in line with this strategy and will further strengthen NYK Group’s energy business,” NYK wrote in the announcement.

NYK, Japan’s largest shipping group, has 824 vessels as of the end of its 2024 fiscal year in March. While much of the fleet is bulk, the group currently has 91 LNG vessels and a total of 61 tankers, including raw materials and products. It will add 18 LPG vessels, 19 chemical and product tankers, and 12 cargo ships.

Eneos will maintain its crude oil tanker operations separate from NYK. The company’s fleet list includes a dozen crude oil tankers (nine VLCCs and three Aframaxes), all built in the last decade. NYK and Eneos, along with Stolt Tankers, have been working together since the chemical tanker pool was launched in 2023. Eneos has delivered two chemical tankers to the operation, along with 11 jointly owned by NYK and Stolt.

Although the Eneos Ocean brand identity was only introduced in 2020, the company has a long history stretching back some 80 years. The predecessor companies began operations in the late 1940s. The business has expanded through a series of brands, including Nissho Shipping, Tokyo Tanker, Nippon Oil Tanker, JX Tanker and finally JX Shipping after the merger with Yuyo Steamship Co. in 2012.