Danish tanker owner and operator Maersk Tankers is moving forward with the order of six Long Range (LR2) tankers in China, availing of the attractive asset prices.
“Maersk Product Tankers’ board of directors has approved the order of six of ten LR2 newbuildings that are on contract with Dalian Shipyard,” the company confirmed.
The tanker shipping major ascribed the fleet renewal decision to the need to sustain a competitive fleet and retain a strong market position in the LR2 segment.
The six vessels are scheduled for delivery over a period of two years with the first vessels entering the fleet in 2020.
Soren C. Meyer, Chief Strategy Officer at Maersk Tankers, said that once the new ships are delivered, they would be under Maersk Tankers’ commercial, technical and corporate management.
“This increases the scale of the fleet we manage and provides vessel data, contributing to our strategy of delivering industry-leading commercial performance,” he added.
According to Maersk Tankers, the option to order the remaining four vessels remains part of the contract, with the decision dependent on market development.
Maersk Tankers operates 161 product tanker vessels across five segments: Intermediate, Handy, MR, LR2 and Aframax. Of these, Maersk Tankers owns 80, charters 23 and commercially manages 58.