In his new capacity as Group CEO of BW Group, one of Carsten Mortensen's closest competitors will be none other than Norwegian shipping icon John Fredriksen, aka Big John.
BY OLE ANDERSEN
Norden's soon to be former CEO Carsten Mortensen will become part of an ambitious and aggressive tanker and offshore company when he takes charge of family-controlled BW Group, which is based in Singapore and is considered one of the world's biggest maritime companies in the field of energy transports, such LPG and crude oil.
Carsten Mortensen leaves the struggling dry bulk market of Danish Norden to instead lead a company in what many analysts describe as the shipping industry's most interesting growth market, featuring new players such as Avance Gas, whose owners include the John Fredriksen-controlled tanker carrier Fronline 2012 along with Stolt-Nielsen.
Another ambitious gas carrier is Dorian LPG, where American Scorpio Tankers is primary shareholder. Avance Gas has openly expressed an interest in acquiring Dorian LPG.
BW Group operates a total of 137 ships, including a considerable fleet of 32 VLGC's - Very Large Gas Carriers - and the company has a newbuilding program of 22 ships in all, set for delivery in the coming years. Additionally, BW Group a few weeks ago expanded its fleet in product and chemical tanker in collaboration with private equity fund Pacific Alliance Group (PAG), which controls stock-listed Danish company Nordic Shipholding, among others.
This joint venture will, with BW Group's existing 17 large LR1 vessels, have a combined fleet of 37 MR and LR1 product tankers controlled by BW Group.
Just as the Group in November 2013 performed an IPO for its gas tanker company BW LPG in Oslo, there have been persistent rumors about a potential IPO for either BW Group as a whole or its tanker fleet. BW Offshore is also listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
In May 2013 Maersk Tankers divested its VLGC fleet to BW Group, and the same company was ready to buy when Maersk pulled out of the market for the big so-called FPSO's (Floating Production and Storage Offloading).