Maersk Tankers has placed an order for four new MR vessels and have options for a further two with a South Korean shipyard, the company informs. According to CEO Hanne B. Sørensen, it is the beginning of a gradual updating of the carriers product tank fleet.
The vessels will be built at the Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. with expected delivery of the new vessels is 2016.
The purpose of ordering the new MR vessels is to gradually update Maersk Tanker’s product fleet and maintain a suitable average age of the fleet, the company writes in a press releade Friday morning.
“We are focusing our investments on the product segments, and in order to stay attractive in this market, we gradually need to renew our fleet. Our MR fleet is our oldest, which is why we begin the renewal here,” says Hanne B. Sørensen, CEO Maersk Tankers.
The move from Maersk Tankers within the product tank segment has been widely anticipated, as Maersk Tankers in recent months has in recent months been the subject of media speculation about a sale of the carriers entire VLCC fleet and a future focus on the product tank segment, which has attracted new players in the form on capital funds, in particular.
In line with other players, Maersk Tankers has warned that the massive order catalogue in product tank could postpone a much needed recovery of the market, and the carrier has pointed out, for example, that the current rate levels are miles from the levels necessary to justify the billion-dollar investments placed in eco vessels at the moment, regardless of the fact that these ships are less costly in terms of fuel.