Eneos Cites Investment and Regulatory Costs in Sale of 49 Vessels to NYK

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Japan’s NYK Line, already a leader in energy shipping, plans to further consolidate the industry through an agreement that will make the non-crude oil shipping operations of Eneos Ocean a subsidiary of the company. NYK highlights the opportunities for economies of scale, quality control, cost competitiveness, and growth through the transaction which involves 49 ships.

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

Under the terms of the agreement, a new company will be formed to operate the fleet of LNG carriers, product tankers, and cargo ships 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 the operating company and a ship management company in Singapore. The new deal is expected to be completed by April 2025. 

“In the energy transport business, we aim to strengthen our efforts, mainly in the LNG/LPG ship business, which we are positioning as a growth business, and to fulfill our responsibility for stable energy transport as an infrastructure company. This transaction is in line with that strategy and will further strengthen the NYK Group’s energy business,” writes NYK in the announcement.

NYK which is Japan’s largest shipping group has 824 vessels (as of the end of FY24 in March). While large portions of the fleet are in bulk cargo, the group currently has 91 LNG carriers and a total of 61 tankers including crude and product. To this, it will add 18 LPG ships, 19 chemical and product tankers, and 12 cargo ships.

Eneos will retain its crude oil tanker operations separately from NYK. The company’s fleet list shows a dozen crude oil tankers (nine VLCCs and three Aframaxes) all built in the last decade. NYK and Eneos, along with Stolt Tankers, had been working together since launching a chemical tanker pool in 2023. Eneos provided two chemical tankers to the operation along with 11 jointly owned by NYK and Stolt. 

While the Eneos Ocean brand identity was only launched in 2020, the company has a long heritage dating back approximately 80 years. The predecessor companies started operations in the late 1940s. The operations progressed through a series of brand names including Nissho Shipping, Tokyo Tanker, Nippon Oil Tanker, JX Tanker, and finally JX Shipping after a 2012 merger with Yuyo Steamship Co.

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