Cadeler's new shipping chair deemed seal of approval

First Hafnia, then BW Epic Kosan a few months ago, and now wind carrier Cadeler will have Andreas Sohmen-Pao as chairman of the board. "A sign that we're doing the right thing," says Cadeler CEO Mikkel Gleerup.

BW Group's Andreas Sohmen-Pao is already chairman of Hafnia and BW Epic Kosan. He is expected to be elected chairman of Cadeler at the company's general meeting on April 29, when current chairman Richard Sell resigns. | Photo: Global Maritime Forum

Wind carrier Cadeler, the former Swire Blue Ocean, will be the third Danish company after Hafnia and BW Epic Kosan to have Andreas Sohmen-Pao from Singapore's BW Group as chairman of the board.

Notably, this is taking place after BW Group, which is owned by the Sohmen-Pao family, has acquired a large part of the ownership.

With the chairmanship of Cadeler, BW Group now occupies another heavy post in a new segment for shipping at large, which is offshore wind.

Sohmen-Pao is already chairman of BW Group and a number of the group's stock-listed companies, including BW Offshore, gas carrier BW LPG, BW Energy and, as mentioned, Hafnia and BW Epic Kosan, the latter being a recent merger of Epic Gas and Lauritzen Kosan.

The interest in Cadeler shows great confidence in the market for the installation of offshore wind turbines, says the wind carrier's CEO, Mikkel Gleerup, in an interview with EnergyWatch's sister media ShippingWatch, following the financial report of 2020.

"We're adding an incredibly experienced man to the board and I think that's really exciting, seeing as Andreas has a lot of experience in both shipping and companies that operate large, capital-intensive units," says Mikkel Gleerup.

Photo: cadeler
Photo: cadeler

BW Group subsidiary BW Wind Services is negotiating a purchase of shares from Cadeler's largest shareholder, Swire, Pacific Offshore Operations. Following the acquisition, BW Group will continue to hold less than a third of shares.

Andreas has a lot of experience in both shipping and companies that operate large, capital-intensive units.

Mikkel Gleerup, CEO, Cadeler

"It shows that they believe in the business and that they want to be a bigger part of it. We are, of course, happy about that. It's a sign that we're doing the right thing," says Gleerup.

Expecting profit in 2021

2020 was a landmark year for Cadeler, which renamed from Swire Blue Ocean and went public on the Oslo Stock Exchange, raising NOK 883m (USD 104m) to be spent on growth plans within the forward-looking wind market.

The year as a whole, however, resulted in a deficit of EUR 27m (USD 32m) and a total revenue of EUR 19.5m. But Cadeler expects to make a profit in 2021, as soon as the carrier's installation ships start delivering on an order backlog of a total of EUR 310m.

"We expect to make a profit in 2021, that is our guidance," emphasizes Mikkel Gleerup to ShippingWatch.

Mikkel Gleerup and Cadeler do not speak on guidance or expectations for how large the fleet or order book is expected to be in coming years.

I do expect the company to be significantly larger in ten years, since the market is growing rapidly.

Mikkel Gleerup, CEO, Cadeler

Instead, the CEO emphasizes a wish to grow with the market, which could prove to become significant as wind projects are announced frequently these years.

"We don't have an ambition of planting a flag everywhere wind farms are built. We are assessing things from project to project and market to market, whether it's a healthy market for us to enter," he says.

"But I do expect the company to be significantly larger in ten years, since the market is growing rapidly."

Good ties between Scandinavia and Singapore

At the same time, he estimates that even more capacity is needed than the ships ordered today or for which declarations of intent have been made (Letters of Intent, ed.). With that said, however, Cadeler remains selective about which projects to enter.

You do not compete "steel against steel" but rather on competencies, as he puts it.

"The biggest barrier to accessing our industry is not to purchase a ship, it is to show that you can get the job done."

Sohmen-Pao's entry to Cadeler not only reflects confidence in the wind market. As the shipping man has previously pointed out, there are positive ties between Scandinavia and Singapore.

"In terms of Nordic shipping companies, I think first of all there is a very strong and long shipping heritage. We like the fact that there is deep competence in engineering on the commercial side," said Andreas Sohmen-Pao in an interview with ShippingWatch in 2019, following the merger of BW Tankers and Hafnia Tankers.

(This article was provided by our sister media, ShippingWatch)

English Edit: L. N. Barnes

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