Scorpio Ship Management has outlined its ambitions in the medium-range (MR) tanker sector.
The Monte Carlo-based tanker owner has recruited former-Banchero Costa shipbroker Sebastiano Cagnoli to spearhead its push in the sector.
The plan is to build up its fleet of handymax and MR products tankers.
Cagnoli will take on the role of chartering manager in Monaco to develop the non-panamax activities. The company has already been involved in taking in ships in off-market deals, says managing director Emanuele Lauro.
The move into the MR sector follows the success of Scorpio's panamax and long-range (LR) operations.
Scorpio is a founding partner in the Jacob Scorpio Tanker (JST) pool, in which China Oil recently committed the 73,000-dwt King David and King Darwin (both built 2007).
China Oil took the vessels on long-term charter from Scorship Tankers, a KG (limited partnership) issuing house established by Scorpio and Konig&Cie of Germany. Its decision to join the pool sees China Oil emerge as the fourth member of the 16-vessel JST pool. Another six newbuildings are scheduled for delivery by the end of the year from existing pool partners Ahrenkiel and Ernst Jacob.
Scorship also partners US giant OMI Corp in the fledgling handysize-tanker pool Libra.
Meanwhile, Scorpio is making its first foray into the dry-bulk sector. Lauro confirms it will transfer two late 1980s-built double-hull ore-bulk-oilers to Singapore to work the dry-bulk trades.