Newbuilding & finance for Trafigura
The Marlin Singapore Suezmax vessel is the first out of 35 tankers being built in South Korea and China
Trafigura Group Pte Ltd has named the first two of its 35 crude oil and product tankers being built in South Korea and China at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Jeolanam-do, in the southwest of South Korea in the presence of Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, Lam Pin Min.
The Marlin Singapore, a 150,000 dwt Suezmax vessel, was the first to open the long row while the second vessel to be named is sistership Marlin Siena. All new ships will be registered in Singapore,
The order for the 35 newbuild vessels that includes Medium Range (MR) tankers, LR2s and Suezmax tankers has been placed by a close Asian financial partner and the vessels are being leased on delivery to Trafigura with options to purchase at a later stage. Vessels are being delivered throughout 2019, with the majority being delivered in the first quarter of next year.
The super eco-efficient vessels are being built to the highest technical specifications which also meet the upcoming IMO 2020 regulations.
The company’s wet freight trading division which acts as a profit centre in its own right was responsible for over 3,050 fixtures in 2017, up from 1,970 fixtures in 2015, and has decreased its time chartered wet fleet which, despite the new arrivals, will result in 80% of all controlled wet cargoes continuing to be placed on third party tonnage.
Last week Trafigura Group Pte Ltd has successfully taken the first step towards reopening one of Africa’s most historic trade routes, with an epic train journey that ended in the Angolan port of Lobito; a cargo of 800 tons of copper blister, purchased from Copperbelt mining region of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), made the 1,800 kilometers journey by train from Kolwezi.
This was an operation of significant importance; the train carried the first consignments of copper to travel along the Lobito corridor from the DRC to Angola’s Atlantic coast in over 40 years, to mark the beginning of a new chapter in the history of a railway line that dates back more than a century and once took millions of tons of cargo from the mines of Congo to the ocean port of Lobito.
In fact a properly functioning rail corridor would take days off the journey time to a world class port that offers the fastest access to American and European markets.
Currently copper is exported from the DRC east via Dar es Salaam in Tanzania or Beira in Mozambique, and more recently south via Durban in South Africa, a journey that takes over 2 weeks; as export volumes have increased from the DRC, the roads have become more congested and delays at the border are protracted. Trafigura’s controlled Impala Terminals has significant warehouse facilities in DRC copper belt enabling material collection, loading and dispatch of trains.
Meanwhile Trafigura Securitisation Finance Plc, the securitisation vehicle of the Trafigura Group Pte Ltd, has successfully issued a new series of notes on the 144A/RegS Asset-Backed Securities markets; this is Trafigura’s fifth public ABS transaction since inception of the programin November 2004. TSF has since become the largest AAA/Aaa publicly rated securitisation programme of trade receivables in the world that offers investors a rare access to a blended portfolio of short term credit exposure on oil majors, non-ferrous metals and minerals purchasers and highly rated banks; in fact the offering was significantly oversubscribed with USD500 million of public notes (3Y tenor) placed with US and European investors, distribution in the US and Europe and a total of 32 unique orders from institutional investors.
Founded in 1993, Trafigura is one of the largest physical commodities trading groups, and is owned by around 600 of its 3,935 employees who work in 62 offices in 35 countries around the world. The company has achieved growth revenue from USD12 billion in 2003 to USD136.4 billion in 2017.