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Norwegian Ro/Ro shipping company Höegh Autoliners has announced the purchase of the M/V Höegh Tracer for a below-market rate via the exercising of an option it held with the bareboat charterer Ocean Yield.
Höegh Autoliners, through its subsidiary Höegh Autoliners Shipping AS, will pay only $53.2 million for the vessel, a significant discount compared to the $82 million appraisal value.
Höegh Tracer was built in 2016 and has a capacity of 8,500 CEU. The vessel has been on bareboat charter to Höegh Autoliners since its delivery. Ownership of the vessel is expected to be transferred to Höegh Autoliners in Q1 2023.
A sister vessel to Höegh Tracer, named Höegh Trapper, is on a similar lease from Ocean Yield, and Höegh Autoliners also holds the option to purchase it with an exercise date in December. If exercised, delivery will be in June 2023.
Höegh Autoliners said a decision on whether to exercise also this option will be taken closer to the exercise date.
“The Höegh Tracer has served us well and sailed the Oceans transporting our customers’ important cargo since she was built in 2016,” says Andreas Enger, CEO of Hoegh Autoliners. “As one of six Horizon class vessels in our fleet, she is one of the largest and most environmentally friendly PCTC out there and therefore very important for our ambitious path to a zero emissions future by 2040. Exercising the option for Höegh Tracer reinforces our commitment to a sustainable future for deep sea shipping and demonstrates our commitment to continue to manage our capacity cost.”
Höegh Autoliners earlier this month reported a second quarter net profit of $53 million for an almost 50% leap quarter-over-quarter despite challenes on multiple fronts, including geopolitical tensions, lockdowns in China, supply chain disruptions, rising fuel costs and contuining port congestion. But overall market fundamentals for the roll-on/roll-off sector remain positive, with record high utilization and increasing freight rates, the company said.
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