Trafigura Group Pte Ltd (Trafigura), one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading companies, has announced its support for an order of up to 32 new build crude oil and product tankers which will be built in both Korea and China. The order, with a potential value in excess of USD1.35bn, is being placed by a close Asian financial partner and the vessels will be leased on delivery to Trafigura with options to purchase.
Through this agreement, Trafigura has supported a firm order for 22 crude oil and product tankers with options for a further ten vessels, consisting of Medium Range (MR) tankers, LR2s and Suezmax tankers.
The vessels will be built by Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group, one of the world’s leading shipbuilding groups, and by one of the strongest Chinese privately owned shipbuilders New Times Shipbuilding. Vessels will be delivered from the end of 2018 through 2019, with the majority of vessels being delivered in the first quarter of 2019.
“Trafigura is a leading player in global shipping with a strong team and infrastructure already in place,” said Rasmus Bach Nielsen, Global Head of Wet Freight for Trafigura. “This development comes at an opportune time, involving the purchase of vessels by a close Asian financial partner who was attracted by the guaranteed employment of the tankers by a strong counterparty. They are being constructed to a high technical specification and we look forward to employing them within our trading division.”
The company plans to trade these new vessels within its wet freight trading division which acts as a profit centre in its own right and was responsible for around 3,000 fixtures in 2016, up from 1,970 fixtures in 2015. Around 85 percent of all Trafigura controlled wet cargoes will have been placed on third party tonnage in 2017 and around 80 percent in 2014-16, showing that the new vessels can be accommodated into the company’s current trading system with ease to provide a cargo underpin for the freight trading book.