Ciner backs $240m project for suezmax newbuilds

Ciner Shipping Industry & Trading has entered into talks to build a series of suezmax tankers worth about $240m.

The Turkish shipowner plans to order up to four 158,000-dwt crude tankers, with South Korean shipyards deemed most likely to win the business.

Chief executive Vasileios Papakalodoukas said that Ciner is making its move at a time when newbuilding prices are low and environmental regulations have opened a window of opportunity for such a project.

The newbuildings are intended to help diversify the 26-ship Ciner fleet. The owner already operates two suezmax tankers, but most of its expenditure has been directed towards 20 bulkers. It also has four neo-panamax containerships.

The additional move into crude tankers would leave it with a more balanced portfolio across the segments, Papakalodoukas said.

While the price of new suezmaxes may have fallen to as low as $55m, the expenditure on scrubbers to meet new emissions laws would likely take the total investment up to about $60m each, he said.

Ordering the ships could lead to the tankers being delivered in the second quarter of 2020.

Ciner, which belongs to one of the largest conglomerates in Turkey and is controlled by its billionaire founder Turgay Ciner, has invested more than $1.1bn on its fleet.

In all, 58% of that expenditure has been invested in bulkers, 31% in containerships and 11% tankers.

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