Maersk Product Tankers has signed an agreement with China Development Bank Financial Leasing (CDBL) for the sale of 14 product tankers at a total value of $422m.

According to the agreement, approximately nine vessels will be bareboat-chartered back to the company.

Furthermore, all vessels will be commercially and technically managed by the company.

Maersk Tankers chief investment officer Claus Gronborg said: “The sale that we are announcing today is an important step in our strategy of continually adjusting Maersk Product Tankers’ fleet composition and size to generate attractive financial returns for our owners.

“We are pleased that CDBL has entrusted Maersk Tankers to undertake the management of the vessels, and we will harness Maersk Tankers’ digital, commercial, and technical expertise to deliver attractive financial returns to CDBL while lowering the vessels’ CO₂ footprint.”

All the ships will be delivered to CDBL during the coming months.

Currently, the company is managing more than 220 vessels.

The company said that it is planning to include more ships in the future, which will be beneficial to both pool partners and cargo customers.

Availability of more ships will enable the company to offer greater flexibility to clients in transporting their cargoes.

It will also help to optimise the utilisation of the fleet, leading to the reduction of CO₂ emissions and higher earnings for pool partners.

In June, Maersk announced the launch of a new research centre, Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping.

The centre is expected to lead the way for the development of new fuel types and technologies.

The centre was founded by ABS, AP Møller – Maersk, Cargill, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Line, and Siemens Energy.

The independent research centre supports the shipping sector and partners with industry, academia, and authorities.