STNG’s tanker trifecta

Scorpio Tankers has added six newbuildings to its fleet of product tankers, a move that underscores its ongoing appetite for tonnage.

New York-listed Scorpio on Thursday said it struck a deal with an unaffiliated third party to purchase four medium-range resales under construction at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) of South Korea.

The vessels, which are similar to the company’s so-called “STI Amber-Class” series of ships on order at the same shipyard, will cost approximately $36.5m a piece and are due for delivery between June and September of this year.

“The transaction will be completed by way of novation of the existing shipbuilding agreements and remains subject to final documentation,” the Monaco and New York-based owner told investors in a statement.

In addition, Scorpio said it has exercised options with HMD that call for the construction of two ice class-1A handymaxes at a cost of $31.5m each with delivery due in the third quarter of 2014. The deal includes fixed price options for additional units.

When the dust settles the Emanuele Lauro-led company will control 39 newbuildings on order at HMD, SPP Shipbuilding, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipping and Marine Engineering. 

Five of the products tankers are scheduled to hit the water in September 2013 and the remainder are due for delivery by the end of 2014. The company noted it also has fixed-price options to construct additional newbuildings at the same yards but didn’t shed light on the total.

Scorpio anticipates payments of $139.2m, $169m and $80.4m in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2013, respectively, and $83.9m, $308.3m, $278.8m and $250.9m in the first, second, third and fourth quarters of 2014 but notes the $1.31bn sum is subject to change.

While the latest chapter of the operator’s aggressive newbuilding campaign took centre stage in Thursday’s announcement the release also included an update about the company’s fleet of chartered-in product tankers.

Scorpio said it has fixed a 37,000-dwt handymax for 24 months at a rate of $12,600 per day. Delivery is expected in the middle of May 2013. It noted the unit was built in 2003 but declined to identify it, and two others, by name.

The company also chartered a 106,000-dwt LR2 for two years at a rate of $15,400 per day and a 115,000-dwt vessel for 12 months at $16,250 daily. The ships, which were built in 2006 and 2009, respectively, are scheduled to change hands at the start of this summer.