Gunvor linked to five-year charters for new AMPTC clean tankers

Trading giant Gunvor Group has been linked to a long-term deal to charter in LR2 newbuildings, according to TradeWinds.

Brokers reported the commodities group’s Clearlake Shipping arm taking the 113,800-dwt quartet Ocean Blue (built 2023), Seahorse, Saqr and Crystal (all due 2024) over five years at $27,000 per day each from Kuwait’s Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Co.

This will bring in $39m in total over the full period for AMPTC if confirmed. The series of clean tankers is being built at HD Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries announced in October 2021 that it had been awarded this shipbuilding order, valued at 382.6 billion won ($327 million). The vessel is 239 meters long, 44 meters wide and 22 meters high.

The Ocean Blue has been delivered and its charter reportedly began on 1 November. The other LR2s will start their deals in January, March and April as they are handed over by the shipbuilder. Investment bank Clarksons Securities quoted a rate of $44,700 for a modern LR2 in the spot market. French shipbroker BRS assesses a five-year deal for an eco LR2 at $34,000 per day, however.

VesselsValue shows Clearlake commercially controlling 42 ships owned by other companies, largely MR2s. But there are also two LR2s dating from 2022 owned by Idan Ofer’s Eastern Pacific Shipping.

AMPTC has an operational fleet of 10 tankers and gas carriers, plus two more VLGCs on order. In October, AMPTC chartered out the 112,000-dwt LR2 Sea Star (built 2012) to Trafigura for a year at $39,000 per day.

This followed AVIC International Leasing receiving $40,000 per day earlier in the month for its 110,000-dwt Navig8 Prosperity (built 2019), operated by Navig8 Group, from trader and shipowner Vitol for 12 months.

In September, Saudi Arabian state shipowner Bahri was reported to have swooped for modern LR2 tankers in the period charter market. The Ocean Blue and Saqr were said to have been taken for two years, with a 12-month option. The rate was said to have been $41,000 per day.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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