Tank ‘coup’ for Scorpio boosts pools
Ian Lewis, Genoa
7th August 2008 - Tradewinds
A tanker player has upped the ante by poaching seven vessels from rival Norient.
The Scorpio panamax and handymax products-tanker pools are set to pull off a coup by taking seven tankers from a rival pool.
Brokers say five handymaxes and two panamaxes are moving from the Norient pool to the Monte Carlo-managed Scorpio pools.
The move comes as Scorship Tankers, a KG (limited partnership) joint venture between Germany’s Konig&Cie and Scorpio Shipping, is in the process of purchasing a trio of products tankers, including two newbuildings, to add to the Scorpio pool.
The three ships have been bought en bloc from Swiss-based, Sciandra family-controlled Overseas Maritime Carriers. They comprise the 38,500-dwt Meriom Ruby (built 2008), already delivered from China’s Guangzhou Shipyard International, sistership Meriom Gem, for delivery in January 2009, and the 38,900-dwt Meriom Breeze (built 2004).
These three ships and five vessels from Norient mean that eight products tankers will enter the Scorpio handymax pool, boosting the total to 23 by the end of the year.
The names of the Norient vessels are unknown.
Scorpio Handymax Tanker Pool was established in 2007 with a handful of products tankers of between 37,000 dwt and 40,000 dwt.
At present, it operates around 15 handies including ice-class ships taken on charter from the Tsakos group of Greece, Lauritzen of Denmark and trader Glencore. Partners in the pool are Scorpio, Konig&Cie’s publicly listed Marenave Schiffahrts and Scorship Tankers, which are also members of the panamax pool.
Brokers add that besides the duo Scorpio Panamax Tanker Pool is poaching from Norient, it has also taken in new members.
Recent additions include Zacchello-controlled Motia di Navigazione and Seaarland, which are each contributing one time-chartered tanker.
Other partners include Ahrenkiel and Glasford Shipping, a subsidiary of PetroChina International Co, which is contributing two ships that were originally on five-year charters from Scorpio.
Hamburg-based Scorship Tankers boasts a fleet of 10 products tankers six panamaxes and four 37,000-dwt units as well as a pair of aframaxes on order at China’s New Times Shipbuilding.
Scorship recently entered the dry-bulk sector with the purchase of the 170,000-dwt Golden Sentosa , which is set for delivery from South Korea’s Daehan Shipbuilding this month.
The vessel was reported sold in May to an unnamed buyer for $119.5m by UK-based ship financier Allocean. The price was low because of a five-year time charter upon delivery to Sanko Steamship at just $48,000 per day.