The pair of 308,000 dwt tankers are scheduled for delivery in August 2020 and January 2021 and will be 70% funded by bank loans, the group said in a stock market announcement.
“The directors are optimistic of the demand in the import crude oil transportation market and its persistent growth in the coming years. The directors are of the view that the construction and ownership of the tankers will enable the group to take advantage of the business opportunities in the shipping market, enjoy economies of scale, optimize its overall route arrangements and improve its operating efficiency and profitability,” Cosco Shipping Energy said.
It added that going forward, “the group will focus on, among others, developing shipping capacity by multiple strategies and enlarging the economies of scale of the fleet of the group”.
Pointing out that both the international ship purchase/ building market and oil tanker company valuations are at relatively low levels, the group said it would “track market movements closely in order to capture appropriate low cost development and acquisition opportunities decisively for further reducing the average cost and enlarging the economies of scale of the fleet of the Group”.
Noting that management has set its sights on increasing the number of tankers of 300,000 dwt or above to cater for long haul shipments, Cosco Shipping Energy said: “Directors consider that, in the medium to long term, global demand for oil tanker shipping capacity will continue to grow, particularly under the impact of significant growth in crude oil exports of the US and strong growth of import demand from Asian countries such as China, the demand for long-haul shipments will continue to increase.”
Cosco Shipping Energy said in November it would be raising some RMB5.4bn ($815m) through a private offer to fund acquisitions and newbuildings.
In December, the group ordered seven new tankers from Guangzhou Shipyard International.