Stevenson in suezmax strike

Craig Stevenson’s Diamond S Shipping is being tipped as the first owner to place a suezmax newbuilding order in more than six months.
Craig Stevenson

Craig Stevenson

The private-equity backed company has booked two 160,000-dwt vessels at Hyundai Samho in South Korea, brokers tell TradeWinds on Friday.

A price of $134m has been placed on the contract, which brokers indicate is a fair level today.

The market will watch the deal closely, with the $67m per vessel figure setting a new price benchmark given the lack of activity.

Stevenson could not be reached for comment today.

Marmaras last to move

Marmaras Navigation of Greece was the last to order conventional suezmax tankers.

Its contract for two vessels at the same South Korean yard was inked in early June 2013. Brokers say those ships were priced at $58m each.

Knutsen NYK’s single shuttle tanker, booked in January at Cosco Zhoushan, completes the entire 2013 suezmax tanker newbuilding tally.

Investor interest

Observers say the fact the first move in the suezmax sector for some time comes from a company supported by private equity money is not a surprise given the huge investor interest in the crude tanker market, which led to more than 20 VLCC orders in December of 2013.

That flurry represented more than half of the VLCC newbuildings booked last year.   

Diamond S investors include WL Ross & Co, First Reserve Corp, China Investment Corp, Fairfax Financial Holdings, Morgan Creek Capital Management, PPM Americas Capital Partners and CarVal Investors.

The owner has eight new suezmaxs in its fleet alongside more than 30 products tankers.