Montfort Confirms Acquisition of Uniper Middle East Bunkering Business

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday February 17, 2023

Commodities firm Montfort Group has confirmed its purchase of Uniper's Middle East marine fuels business.

Montfort the Private Office of Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum have jointly bought Uniper Energy DMCC at an undisclosed price, the company said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

News first emerged a month ago of Montfort placing the highest bid, with the deal reportedly valued at about $80 million.

"We are delighted to enter into a strategic partnership with the Private Office to acquire a leading position in a sector that is central to our trading activity," Montfort said in the statement.

"The addition of the Fujairah production facility to our portfolio will enable us to further improve our product offering to our low-sulphur fuel customers in the region.

"This investment demonstrates our long-term commitment to this sector."

In December Uniper announced it would be selling off Uniper Energy DMCC as one of the European Commission's conditions for approving its bailout by the German government under EU state aid rules. The deadline for completion of all of the company's divestments was set as the end of 2026.

Uniper Energy DMCC has two production trains at a plant in Fujairah producing more than 4 million mt/year of 0.1% and 0.5% sulfur bunker fuels. The plant is a key supplier of VLSFO to the bunker market in the Middle East, along with Vitol's 80,000 b/d Fujairah refinery.

Uniper's Middle East bunker operation also trades cargoes of these fuels to the Middle East, ARA and Asia-Pacific regions from a trading office in Dubai.

The company has additionally been running a partnership with biofuel supplier Neutral Fuels since 2020 to develop biofuel-VLSFO blends for the bunker industry.

Montfort has been a licensed Fujairah bunker supplier since September 2021, with two barges with the capacity to supply up to 50,000 mt/month.