Earlier this month, when our CEO Hans-Christian Olesen was in Japan, he met Japan Maritime Daily to discuss Ultrabulk’s current activities in Japan, the company’s commitment to ammonia-fueled bulk carriers and he shared some very exciting news. The following is a recap of the interview written by Hirofumi Yamamoto posted on LinkedIn:
On the 7th of September, we met Mr Hans-Christian Olesen, CEO of Ultrabulk, at a fantastic party venue overlooking Tokyo Tower. Maersk Broker provided this wonderful venue. Today’s edition of The Japan Maritime Daily has a front-page interview with Mr Hans-Christian Olesen. Unfortunately, The Japan Maritime Daily is in Japanese, so here is the part of the English version of the interview.
Danish tramp shipping giant Ultrabulk is moving forward with a project to make ammonia-fueled bulk carriers zero-emission. Ultrabulk expects to sign a letter of intent (LOI) with a shipyard for ammonia-fueled vessels by the end of this year. We interviewed Hans-Christian Olesen, CEO of Ultrabulk, who visited Japan, about the prospects of the project and the development of business in Japan.
Q: You mentioned in our interview this June that “The company’s EBITDA grew 14% over the previous year to $257 million, benefiting from strong dry bulk market conditions. We secured $345 million in equity capital and an equity ratio of 45.8%, eliminating interest-bearing debt and borrowings from our balance sheet.”
May I ask, how much your great company is expected 2023 result?
A: We are fortunately expecting a good year at Ultrabulk, but naturally nothing close to the 2022 result. However, with great support from our partners, both cargo and vessel providers, we are able to provide our shareholders with a return on the invested capital.
Q: Do you contract with new vessels with Japanese shipyards or shipowners?
A: Yes, we have now made commitments to charter 12 new buildings from our Japanese owner friends. There are other sources for new bulk carriers, but we keep coming back to Japan.
Q: I would like to confirm your current operating vessels are as follows, “As one of the world’s leading dry operators, we currently operate between 165 and 200 vessels, and last year we transported 54.9 million tons of cargo. Our fleet consists of up to 20 multi-purpose vessels, 60 Handysize vessels, 80 Supramax vessels, and 40 Panamax vessels. The company also operates a small-lot cargo and Africa service.”
A: Yes, that is correct. In addition to our commitment for additionally four additional vessels, we have also taken the decision to create Ultrabulk Japan KK. We have already leased office space at a location near Tokyo Station, and we are presently looking for our first Japanese colleague to represent Ultrabulk in the Japanese cargo market. It is a very exciting time for our company and our presence in Japan, we are enjoying strong support from both shipowners and cargo charterers, for which we remain very thankful. We appreciate it takes 25 years to build a name in Japan and 10 minutes to destroy it – we will do our very best to continue to build on the trust we receive from the Japanese market.