Greek shipowner George Economou is behind Samsung Heavy Industries’ 2 VLAC orders

On December 26, Samsung Heavy Industries announced that it has signed a construction contract with an Oceania-based shipowner for two very large liquid ammonia carriers (VLACs), with a total order value of KRW 308 billion, which are expected to be delivered to the owner by June 2027 one after another.

Including the latest order, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has received 28 newbuilding orders worth $6.8 billion this year, which is 72% of its annual target of $9.5 billion. By vessel type, it includes 16 methanol dual-fuel container ships, seven liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, two crude oil carriers, two VLACs, and one FLNG.

According to reports, the shipowner behind the above VLAC order is the Greek shipowner George Economou. George Economou has been very active in the newbuilding market this year.

Earlier this month, George Economou has placed orders with three Chinese shipyards for a total of seven new vessels of three types, which include two 157,000 dwt Suezmax tankers, one 115,000 dwt LR2 product tanker, and four Kamsarmax bulk carriers. The three shipyards are JJiangsu New Hantong Ship Heavy Industry Co., Ltd (NHT), New Times Shipbuilding Co. and XMXYG Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co., Ltd.(XMXYG SOE).

Notably, George Economou ordered two 115,000 dwt LR2 product tankers and four 157,000 dwt Suezmax tankers from New Times Shipbuilding earlier this year.

In addition, George Economou has placed orders for eight 210,000 dwt Newcastlemax bulk carriers with COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Yangzhou) this year. In March this year, George Economou and COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Yangzhou) signed the construction contract for the first two Newcastlemax bulk carriers, which are scheduled to be delivered in October and December 2025; in June, the shipowner placed an order with COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Yangzhou) for two additional Newcastlemax bulk carriers, which are scheduled to be delivered in February and April 2026; in October, another order was placed with the shipyard for four Newcastlemax bulk carriers.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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