Our History

The origin of BW LPG dates back to 1935 when Mr Sigval Bergesen d.y. established Sig. Bergesen d.y. & Co, a tanker business in Stavanger, Norway. After World War II, the fleet and business rapidly expanded with the delivery of a series of increasingly larger tanker vessels and establishment of close relations with major oil companies. In 1967, Sigval Bergesen d.y. entered the dry bulk business by taking over the business that his son, Mr Berge Sigval Bergesen, started 10 years earlier. By the 1970s, the company had grown to be one of the largest ship-owning groups in the world.

Our history - more than 80 years in maritime energy

In 1955, Sir Yue-Kong (Y.K) Pao bought his first vessel, a 27-year-old coal-burning freighter renamed the Golden Alpha, and founded World-Wide Shipping. In 2003, World-Wide Shipping acquired Bergesen, Norway's largest shipping company founded in 1935, and in 2005, the business was re-branded as BW. The LPG segment of the BW business was listed in 2013. Today, BW LPG owns and operates the world's largest fleet of LPG vessels and continues to deliver growth and value to society and stakeholders.      

History Timeline

1970s: Entering the Gas Transportation business

In 1978, Sig. Bergesen d.y. & Co entered the gas transportation business with the acquisition of six Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessels. By then his grandsons, Mr Petter C.G. Sundt and Mr Morten Sig. Bergesen, had taken over the daily management of the business. Under their leadership, the company grew in the 1980s to become a major operator of large LPG carriers.

1980s: A Market Leader in Gas Transportation

In 1986, Bergesen d.y. ASA (“Bergesen”) became the holding company of the family's various shipping businesses, and had its shares listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Two years later, its shares were also listed on the London Stock Exchange.In 1995, Bergesen acquired the shares of and merged with Havtor ASA, a shipping company focused on marine gas transportation. The Bergesen fleet as a result numbered over 100 vessels and Bergesen became a market leader for crude oil, dry bulk and gas transportation.

1990s: Riding the Natural Gas Wave

In 1999, Bergesen revised its strategy and decided to reduce its exposure to the volatile tanker sector in favour of growing in two new shipping markets, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and offshore services, where it expected better and more stable returns. Bergesen's LNG venture started in 2000 with the ordering of three newbuildings that were subsequently chartered to Suez Energy International NA and Sonatrach SA.In 2002, the LNG business grew substantially when the company was awarded contracts to charter four LNG vessels to Nigeria LNG Limited. In 2004, Nigeria LNG Limited awarded a contract for a further four LNG vessels to subsidiaries of BW Group Limited.

2000s: A New Identity

In April 2003, Sohmen family interests acquired a majority of the shares of Bergesen and, subsequently, launched a public offer through World Nordic APS for the remaining shares. Bergesen's shares were delisted from the Oslo Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange in July 2003. Bergensen together with the Sohmen family’s World-Wide Shipping were reorganised to form Bergesen Worldwide in 2004, and in 2005 it was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the name Bergesen Worldwide Gas ASA.In 2007, Bergesen Worldwide Gas ASA was renamed BW Gas ASA as part of a re-branding exercise of the BW Group. Together, the BW Group of companies is a leading global maritime group involved in oil and gas transportation, floating gas infrastructure, environmental technologies and deepwater production. BW Group has a combined fleet of over 300 vessels, which includes Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), refined oil tankers, chemical tankers, LNG and LPG carriers, and floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units.

2010s: Listing, and Rapid Expansion

The next decade was a period of rapid expansion. Over the 18 months leading up to 2013, BW LPG expanded substantially with investments of over US$1 billion. This included the acquisition of several modern second-hand vessels, including a 10-vessel Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) fleet from Maersk Tankers, followed by contracts for four newbuildings from Korea. With strong prospects for additional business opportunities, the decision was taken to list the LPG business to broaden the capital base.In November 2013, it was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. It raised approximately US$280 million of new capital through this initial public offering (IPO). With a total offering size of approximately US$610 million, this was the largest IPO in Oslo in 2013, and the largest shipping IPO in Europe and the US since 2005.

In 2016, BW LPG acquired Aurora LPG, and the combination created a stronger player to weather a challenging environment in the industry. 

In the next four years post-listing, BW LPG took delivery of 11 newbuildings from Korea. 

In 2017, BW LPG established a Joint Venture in India to establish a stronger presence in an important LPG market. 

In 2018, BW LPG announced plans to retrofit VLGCs with pioneering LPG dual-fuel propulsion technology. 

In 2019, BW LPG launched a Product Services division to offer customers a low-risk and fully integrated product delivery service.

2020s: An Eye on Tomorrow

In 2020, BW Gemini became the world’s first VLGC to be powered by LPG. Over approximately four months during the vessel’s scheduled drydocking, BW Gemini was retrofitted with pioneering LPG dual-fuel propulsion engines in China. With performance exceeding expectations, BW LPG committed a total of 15 VLGCs for retrofitting. 

In 2021, BW LPG increased its equity share in its Indian subsidiary from 50% to 88%. BW LPG India becomes the largest owner and operator of VLGCs in India.