Belgian tanker operator Euronav will complete the acquisition of a eco-VLCC newbuild for US$93M this year
The newbuild VLCC is the company’s fourth acquisition in 2020, following the purchase of three VLCCs in February for US$280.5M.
The VLCC is under construction at the DSME shipyard in South Korea and will be fitted with exhaust gas scrubber technology and a ballast water treatment system, with a delivery date set for Q1 2021.
Euronav chief executive Hugo de Stoop said Euronav’s “management and the board continue to believe that the fundamentals of the large tanker market remain constructive despite substantial headwinds surrounding economic activity linked to the coronavirus. We believe and hope these will be temporary, albeit likely to impact tanker markets until mid-2020.”
The acquisition of a scrubber-equipped VLCC is consistent with Euronav’s intent to purchase scrubber technology if there is a business case for it.
Euronav’s purchase comes at a time when oil demand has fallen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. On 9 March 2020, the price of Brent crude fell from US$45 to US$31 per barrel following the failure of OPEC and Russia to agree on a deal to cut oil production.
Despite the outbreak, the tanker market has seen healthy sales in 2020 and increasing day rates.
In addition to Euronav’s recent acquisitions, Hartree Partners sold two scrubber-equipped ECO-type VLCCs for a reported US$106M each in January 2020.
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