Nam Cheong sells four vessels, forms JV with Marco Polo Marine

SINGAPORE - Offshore marine group Nam Cheong has secured four contracts to sell vessels worth US$90 million (S$112 million), it said on Tuesday.

One vessel will be sold to a joint venture that the Singapore-listed group is forming with Marco Polo Marine, after the latter sold a 50 per cent stake in Marco Polo Offshore (IV) to Nam Cheong.

Marco Polo Offshore (IV), the joint venture company, will own and charter out a newly-built accommodation work vessel that was purchased from Nam Cheong.

The joint venture company has secured a five-year bare-boat contract estimated to be worth more than US$27 million. If extension options are exercised, the total value of the contract could reach almost US$50 million.

The accommodation work vessel will be chartered out to a regional growing offshore and marine services provider, which was not named in the press release, and is expected to be deployed by early September.

Marco Polo Marine chief executive Lee Yun Feng said the joint venture will "combine our respective groups' strengths in ship-chartering and ship-building to expand our businesses".

He added: "Tapping on our chartering network, we are exploring the possibilities of the joint ownership of more vessels."

Nam Cheong's chief executive Leong Seng Keat elaborated on the synergies from the partnership, saying: "We believe that having Marco Polo's experience and wide network of business relationships in the vibrant chartering space while leveraging on Nam Cheong's strengths in constructing high quality vessels puts this mutually beneficial partnership in a unique position."

Apart from the vessel sold to Marco Polo Offshore (IV), Nam Cheong also sold three other vessels recently.

One was a platform supply vessel to repeat customer Bumi Armada, and the other two were anchor handling towing supply vessels sold to a repeat customer based in Malaysia and a new customer based in Vietnam respectively.

Nam Cheong's order book now has 29 vessels worth 2 billion ringgit (S$790.1 million).