Euronav's newly placed newbuilding order for two two high specification Ice Class Suezmax vessels from Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea is not speculative insists company CEO Paddy Rogers.
Mr Rogers has been one of the industry's most outspoken critics of speculative ordering and earlier this year spoke out on Korean yards targetting of tanker owners which he felt "could kill the tanker market".
Additional specifications for these vessels include substantially increased steel structure, specific emissions controls and other bespoke operational capabilities. Delivery of these vessels is expected in the second half of 2018 when each of the time charter contracts will begin.
The order for two Suezmax vessels with specialised Ice Class 1C at Hyundai Heavy Industries has been prompted by Euronav entering into two seven year time charter contracts with Valero Energy Inc. The potential start date for the contract is late 2018. The order brings to four the number of long-term (seven years) Suezmax time charter contracts Euronav has within its portfolio.
Mr Rogers anticipates the new vessels will replace the company's older Suezmax vessels so ultimately "will not add net tonnage to the global Suezmax tanker fleet."