Penfield Marine | Penfield Marine teams with Macquarie on first carbon-neutral voyage
Connecticut outfit says voyage involving International Seaways suezmax was the first by a tanker pool
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Penfield Marine partners Tim Brennan (left) and Eric Haughn have made a big step with booking of their first carbon-neutral voyage. Photo: Joe Brady

by Joe Brady · Published by Tradewinds

Connecticut outfit says voyage involving International Seaways suezmax was the first by a tanker pool

Penfield, a leading commercial manager and pools operator, said it carried out the voyage in conjunction with the Macquarie Group’s commodities and global markets division using the 158,400-dwt Seaways Hatteras (built 2017), a suezmax owned by New York-listed International Seaways.

Penfield is now collaborating with Macquarie to offer what it calls “environmentally differentiated freight products” to its customers.

The structure involves retiring carbon offsets sufficient to cover the carbon footprint of an entire voyage, including the ballast leg and all in-port functions.

“We are very enthusiastic about the offset portfolio and appreciate Macquarie's leadership and insight into developing this offering for our tanker pools,” said Penfield chief executive Tim Brennan.

“The completion of this first carbon neutral voyage has been an excellent collaboration with our founding suezmax pool member, International Seaways, and we see this as just the beginning. We look forward to continuing this effort on a platform basis with the pools that we operate.”

The Seaways Hatteras loaded 1m barrels of crude in Brazil and delivered to multiple ports in South East Asia, including Singapore and Malaysia, concluding on 24 June. The ballast from Singapore to Brazil also was covered, Penfield said.

Penfield elected to pay the additional cost associated with the offsets on a trial basis, Brennan told TradeWinds. He declined to specify the cost, but added, “it’s not insignificant”. “The cost comes down to a few factors, including the quality of the credits purchased, the efficiency of the ship and the efficiency of the voyage,” Brennan said. “How it gets paid going forward will be determined after discussions first with our pool partners and then with the customers who are chartering the ships.”

Macquarie organised the offsets from multiple Verra-registered projects, including the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve project in Indonesia that protects tropical peat swamp. Another involved Brazilian forest preservation. Macquarie arranged the accounting and verification with its UK-based partner CarbonChain. The accounting is being independently verified by inspection services company SGS.

“This collaboration with Penfield is a testament to the relationship Macquarie has with Penfield and the commitment that both organisations have to driving decarbonisation and positive change for the industry,” said Scobie Mackay, Macquarie managing director.

Fairfield-based Penfield was founded in 2012 by Brennan and Eric Haughn, both former executives of Heidmar. The company has grown to 64 tankers spread among pools in panamax/LR1, aframax/LR2 and suezmaxes.

“Penfield believes that this represents an impactful, practical and immediately executable pathway towards decarbonisation in the shipping industry, which overall will take significant time and capital,” Brennan said.

“Our industry is at the dawn of a new era and Penfield looks forward to working with Macquarie, its pool partners and charterers to help drive the industry towards a decarbonised future.”

With shipping under increasing pressure on the decarbonisation front, several tanker brokers have begun a move into the carbon trading sector.

Braemar Shipping Services has launched a carbon offsetting initiative to be led by one of its senior tanker brokers, Ben Chesney.

In April, Swiss broker Ifchor said it was setting up a carbon emissions trading and advisory company with Dutch specialist ClearBlue Markets.

Shipbrokers BRS, Clarksons and Affinity (Shipping) launched their carbon desks in late 2020 and were among the first in shipping to enter the ever-evolving market.