Nippon Mitsubishi Takes Stake in OceanConnect.com

OceanConnect.com, scheduled to
formally launch in May as an independent online marketplace for the sale of
marine products and services, said that Nippon Mitsubishi Oil Corp., Japan’s
largest oil company, has committed to becoming an equity participant.


The site is being designed to provide an easy-to-use, fast and
price-efficient way for both buyers and sellers to complete marine fuels
transactions while providing real-time information on pricing and product
availability.


Initially concentrating on marine fuels, OceanConnect.com will later expand
into other marine products and services.


Nippon of Tokyo, with about $30 billion in sales, was created last April as a
result of a merger between Nippon Oil Co. and Mitsubishi Oil Co. Together,
the new company represents about 25 percent of Japan’s total domestic crude
oil processing capacity. Specifics of the equity investment were not
disclosed.


“The addition of such a large and prestigious partner validates our
e-commerce model, strengthens our position and advances marine e-commerce in
general,” said Tom Reilly, head of OceanConnect.com.


Shipping companies Eletson Corp. and Keystone Shipping Co. joined
OceanConnect.com as equity participants earlier, as did Stena Bulk AB. Other
investors include BP Marine (a wholly owned division of BP Amoco Plc.); Fuel
and Marine Marketing LLC (a joint venture between Texaco and Chevron in the
marine fuels and lubricants business); and Shell Marine Products (a wholly
owned subsidiary of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies).

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