Private Equity Group Buys Dupont's Belco Scrubber Business

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday January 3, 2022

Dupont's Clean Technology business, including its marine scrubber firm Belco Technologies Corp, has been bought by a private equity consortium and effective today spun out into a new company, Elessent Clean Technologies (Elessent).

The deal also includes Dupont's MECS sulfuric acid and environmental technologies, STRATCO alkylation technology, and IsoTherming hydroprocessing technology, all of which are now part of Elessent.

Belco's buyer consortium consists of New York-based BroadPeak Global LP (BroadPeak), Asia Green Fund (AGF), and The Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company (Dussur).

The group has shown previous interest in the marine space, including BroadPeak's ownership of Diamond S Shipping - which last year became the second largest US-listed tanker company by vessel count - and Dussur's joint venture with Saudi Aramco and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to manufacture 2-stroke and 4-stroke marine engines and pumps.

Belco has been a long time player in the exhaust gas clean system (EGCS) space and was one of the firms providing scrubber units to owners for compliance with the 2015 introduction of the 0.10%S Sulfur Cap within emissions control areas (ECAs).

Interest in scrubbers got a more notable second boost from the introduction of the 0.50%S 'IMO 2020' global sulfur cap on January 1, 2020.

While the high / low sulfur fuel spread has been significantly lower than anticipated since then, in 2021 the VLSFO / HSFO spread almost doubled, ending the year at a 2021 high of $153.

The purchase and installation of new scrubber units is generally considered attractive at low sulfur premiums of $100 or more.