Work has started on the first of eight MR tankers for Chinese state-owned Shandong Shipping
New Times Shipbuilding of China has announced the keel laying of the first pair of MR tankers in a series of eight similar vessels for Chinese state-owned shipping company Shandong Shipping. The vessels are classed by DNV GL and CSS.
The eight-vessel series was ordered against an eight-year charter to Shell, which has taken the MR tankers at an undisclosed fixed rate. The total value of the charter is believed to be US$380M.
Shandong Shipping currently has three tankers in the fleet, including the 2005-built Imabari constructed High SD Yihe, which is chartered out to D’Amico International.
Shandong Shipping was created to operate in the inland water sector and is now operating a fleet of deepsea vessels including Capesize bulk carriers.
According to Chinese press reports, the company plans to leave the smaller local stock exchange and is seeking placement on a larger Chinese stock exchange or in Hong Kong, where it can attract international investors.
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