Norden Ice venture with Glencore

SHIPPING: Norden has entered into a new joint venture with Glencore with a focus on transport of coal from Russia on an ice classed vessel. They will share the costs for preparing the Panamax vessel Nord Neptune for sailing in ice and the gains from future chartering.

The extraordinary hard winter this year meant that several coal exporting companies had a difficult time exporting their cargoes from ports in the Baltic Sea, because conventional vessels were not suitably fitted for sailing in sea ice.

Norden's partner for manyyears, Glencore, who is one of the world's largest commodity producers and traders, has now taken the step to secure future transport from Russia to Europe even in the coldest of winter months.

As part of this work, Norden and Glencore have now entered into a new 5-year joint venture, where the parties share the costs for preparing the Panamax vessel Nord Neptune for sailing in ice and the gains from future chartering of the vessel.

"We built Glencore's reputation on performance and dependability and are delighted to join forces with Norden, who fully shares and delivers these values. Together, we have been able to secure yearround reliable coal transportation, with full operational capability throughout the winter.

We see this joint venture as the next logical step in the ongoing mutual co-operation between our two companies, and we are proud of our association together," says Angus Paul, Head of Freight, Coal Division, Glencore International AG, Baar, Switzerland.

Nord Neptune was previously chartered by Norden on a longterm basis and in connection with the rebuilding plans, Norden declared a purchase option on the vessel in July with handing-over in September. Rebuilding a vessel for ice class takes approximately 6-8 weeks and encompasses, among other things, reinforcement of the hull, increased engine power, and on top of this, the crew needs to be trained in sailing in icy waters.

Besides sharing the costs of rebuilding, the parties will also be sharing gains and risks on chartering of the vessel during the 5 years of the contract. This means that the vessel will not necessarily be transporting Glencore cargo, it might be transporting cargoes from third party companies depending on what is the most profitable business to the joint venture.

The joint venture is one of the most recent examples of how Norden strengthens relationships with selected customers, where the Company and the customer share vessels and cargoes for a short or longer period of time.

Norden will typically be in charge of operating the vessels and cargoes, while commercial decisions are made jointly by consensus within the joint venture. Profit sharing arrangements like these have lately become more relevant as more raw material and mining companies have started to charter or invest in their own tonnage.

Norden's dry cargo fleet now has a total of 3 ice classed vessels. Beside Nord Neptune, the 2 Panamax vessel Nordpol and Nordkap are also equipped for sailing in ice. An addition of 3 ice classed Handysizes are on order at a South Corean shipyard.

Source: Norden / maritimedanmark.dk

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