From left: MOL Executive Officer Hiroyuki Nakano, Akastor CEO Karl Erik Kjelstad, General Manager of Third Projects Development Division, Infrastructure Projects Business Unit, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Koichi Wakana and AKOFS Chairman Paal E. Johnsen. Photo: MOL
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced that MOL and Mitsui & Co have entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire shares in AKOFS Offshore AS, which is owned by Akastor ASA, Norway.
After in-kind contribution of the company of owner and leasing the subsea support vessel, Skandi Santos, which MOL, Mitsui & Co., and AKOFS are jointly operating since November 2016, MOL's acquisition amount will be about JPY 8 billion.
MOL's acquisition of shares in AKOFS means MOL will become more deeply involved in the operation and ship management of subsea support vessels, marking its full-scale move into this field.
AKOFS currently operates three subsea support vessels. Two, including the Skandi Santos, are chartered to the Brazilian state oil company, Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., and another is planned to be chartered by Equinor Energy AS (formerly: Statoil Petroleum AS). All of these vessels play essential roles in services such as construction, maintenance, and repair work at offshore petroleum and gas fields.
The subsea support vessel business requires advanced design and operation technologies, and is a field in which MOL can draw upon its 50-plus years of experience in management of cable laying ships.
MOL anticipates stable demand and earnings in the subsea field, and plans to get involved in every phase of operations, from research of sea bed petroleum and gas fields to construction, maintenance, repair work, and removal as it strives to expand the business.
Meanwhile, Akastor is one of core companies of Aker group, a major Norwegian offshore company, and MOL, Mitsui & Co., Akastor and Aker group have agreed to seek new opportunities to expand their collaboration based on a long-term perspective.