SCF Tankers Ltd., a subsidiary of PAO Sovcomflot (“SCF Group”), has won the auction for nine vessels that belonged to Primorsk International Shipping Ltd. (“PRISCO”). The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which is handling PRISCO’s bankruptcy case, approved the auction results on July 12.
The deal for SCF Group to purchase the nine vessels is worth USD 215 million. The nine ships comprise:
- One Aframax crude oil tanker: Zaliv Amerika (104,535-dwt);
- Three LR2 oil product tankers: Zaliv Amurskiy (104,542-dwt), Zaliv Baikal (104,532-dwt), Zaliv Vostok (104,527-dwt);
- Five MR oil product tankers: PRISCO Alexandra (50,973-dwt), PRISCO Ekaterina (50,956-dwt), PRISCO Elena (50,000-dwt), PRISCO Elizaveta (50,000-dwt), PRISCO Irina (50,923-dwt).
Crude Oil Tanker Zaliv Amurskiy - Image: mgklingsick
These vessels are seven to eight years old, which is below the average age of the world tanker fleet. All the vessels are of Ice Class 1А or 1С, which enables their year-round use for oil products and crude shipments from the seasonally frozen ports of the Baltic Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk and the White Sea. Another advantage of the vessels is that their type and size make them suitable for most Russian port terminals.
Evgeny Ambrosov, Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of PAO Sovcomflot, said: “We are more than satisfied with the results of the auction. SCF Group has reached a good deal by purchasing these modern ships at below their market price. This should enable SCF Group to strengthen its position in the maritime transportation of refined petroleum products globally, and also better positioned when considering the export growth potential for this commodity group through Russian ports on the Baltic Sea and in the Far East.”
He added: “We are convinced that, considering the age of the vessels, the tradition of high-quality technical management at PRISCO, and the professionalism of the crews, our company is acquiring high-class assets.”
Sovcomflot Group already has successful experience in the operation of PRISCO vessels. In 2010, Sovcomflot purchased six ice-class Aframax shuttle tankers from PRISCO. Today all these vessels are serving the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects under long-term contracts with the project operators. All six tankers are manned with Russian crews. Technical management for these vessels is provided by SCF Management Services (Sakhalin), a subsidiary of Sovcomflot.