Unibros emerges as buyer behind MR2 shopping spree

Greek owner has purchased its first vessels since 2014 with triple buy as part of fleet renewal project

Tanker player Unibros Shipping has emerged as the buyer of three medium-range-two (MR2) tankers in deals that stayed below the radar, or were previously attributed to different buyers.

Unibros has purchased the Hyundai Mipo-built sisterships in what TradeWinds understands to be part of a fleet-renewal process, to be followed by the withdrawl of some older ships connected to the company.

 The three latest additions boost the size of the Piraeus-based company’s fleet to eight, double its carrying capacity and significantly reducing its average age.

The first two are the 46,800-dwt British Loyalty (built 2004) and its sistership British Unity, which are now trading with Unibros under the names Leste and Zonda, respectively. Sinokor Merchant Marine was looking to sell the two ships in October last year after their time charters with BP expired. Two months later, TradeWinds reported that Indian shipping debutant Optima Energy Group had probably picked up the two vessels.

The third ship, the 46,700-dwt Mare Caribbean (built 2004), joined Unibros more recently. It belonged to Germany’s Marenave, which agreed last month to shed its entire fleet in order to be released from bank liabilities (see separate story on page 17). The Mare Caribbean was initially reported sold in April to Union Maritime. UK-based Union, however, promptly denied that information. The Mare Caribbean is now listed in the Unibros fleet under its new name, Bora.

The MR2 trio represents Unibros’ first reported ship purchases since February 2014. They will significantly renew the company’s fleet, which previously consisted of smaller or older vessels, with a size of between 19,100 dwt and 46,800 dwt and built from 1995 to 2002.