by Joe Brady · Published by Tradewinds in Tankers
Connecticut-based commercial manager Penfield Marine has taken a big step in building its fledgling suezmax pool by taking in two newbuildings from Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation (CSET).
The CSET tankers will not only double the pool fleet to four, but add a second major partner following International Seaways’ founding commitments to the outfit last February. But there is a twist to CSET’s entry. Penfield is taking the first newbuilding, the 158,600-dwt Yuan Nan Hai (built 2020), into the pool on time charter for its own account, chief executive Tim Brennan told TradeWinds. This will be followed in January with CSET’s official entry as a pool partner with commitment of the sister vessel Yuan Bei Hai (built 2021), Brennan said.
CSET is one of three owners who have joined as pool partners for the first time in recent months, but has long working relationships with Brennan and partner Eric Haughn from their days at the old Heidmar.
We're extremely happy to be working with Cosco again. Our relationship with them goes back over two decades.
“We’re excited to be doing our first suezmax time charter and to double the size of the fleet. The pool has a strong foundation and a very modern fleet. We look forward to synergies with our existing panamax and aframax pools.”
The International Seaways units already in the pool are the 158,000-dwt sisterships Seaways Hatteras and Seaways Montauk (both built 2017). Penfield had first tipped plans to form a suezmax pool during an interview in September 2019, and launched the outfit in February after Seaways withdrew the pair from an alliance formed by Heidmar and Greece’s Signal Maritime.
Penfield Marine launched in the Southport section of Fairfield, Connecticut, in 2012 after Brennan had resigned as president of Heidmar. Haughn is an ex-Heidmar chartering manager, who also worked with trading giant Glencore’s ST Shipping. The duo started with a panamax pool, moved on to aframaxes and is now scaling up its suezmax vehicle.
Penfield’s panamax pool currently has 33 vessels from 12 different partners, while the aframax pool has 21 units from 14 members.
“In suezmaxes we’d like to get a bit bigger, although we don’t see it getting as big as the panamax or aframax pools,” Brennan said. “As with the other two pools, we’re looking for slow, sustained growth, and we want to keep the fleet modern.”
In the cornerstone panamax pool, Penfield has not taken on a new pool member in the last two years, but did experience a net growth of two vessels since the partners last updated TradeWinds in April.
In aframaxes, Penfield has a net addition of one vessel over the same period, but has some new pool partners. Additions have come from the Greece’s Phoenix Shipping Group, a longtime Penfield member, which entered the 105,600-dwt Phoenix Hope (built 2008) in October, and from new pool member Neverland Shipping of Italy with the 115,900-dwt Neverland Dream (built 2010) in September. Penfield welcomed another new pool partner when India’s Great Eastern entered the 105,500-dwt Jag Leela (built 2011) on Monday. “Great Eastern is another owner many of us have known for a long time,” Brennan said.