A new pool for smaller products tankers is gearing up for the market. Scorship Tankers and OMI Corp are forming a new handysize products-tanker pool.
The pool will kick off next month after taking delivery of four modern 37,000-dwt products tankers but it could soon grow to six ships.
The first four vessels were purchased last month from Stamford-based OMI for $180m but no buyer was named.
It has since emerged that Scorship bought the ships as part of an expansion into the smaller products-tanker sector.
Concurrently, Scorship is also negotiating the purchase of two more 37,000-dwt chemical products tankers, the Baltic Action and Baltic Ambassador (both built 2005).
The vessels were reported sold last week for $48.5m but sources say it is not a done deal yet.
Scorship is a joint venture between Konig&Cie of Hamburg and Monte Carlo-based Scorpio Ship Management.
The first two ships will be delivered to the pool next month and the second two in the first quarter of next year. No name has yet been picked for the pool.
The four ships already committed to the pool are the Ashley and Marne (both built 2001), which have been chartered back by OMI for three years at $22,500 per day, and the Ganges and Ruby (both built 2004).
The handysize pool marks a departure for Scorship, which has specialised in panamax tankers. It has orders for six coated panamaxes of 73,000 dwt under construction at China's New Century Shipyard.
The idea for the pool is thought to have sprung up from the close relationship that Konig has with OMI through its Gemini suezmax-tanker pool, where the German group contributes eight units. OMI operates around 33 ships of between 30,000 dwt and 50,000 dwt and its experience in the smaller products-tanker sector is viewed as a big attraction for the Scorship partners.
Scorship is linked with the Jacob Scorpio panamax pool, which is managed by Scorpio Ship Management in Monaco.
Scorpio also contributes a vessel to the Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) aframax pool.