Greece’s Laskaridis group has made a rare foray into the secondhand market for a tanker to replenish its fleet of small product carriers.

Flagship family company Lavinia Corp has bought the 18,000-dwt Chemical Aquarius (built 2012) for more than $11.5m, according to market sources in Athens.

Laskaridis brothers Panos and Thanassis are best known for their dry bulk and reefer fleets. However, they also maintain a handful of small tankers. Half of them cater to the fuel needs of the group’s shrinking, but still considerable, fleet of more than 20 reefers.

Tanker fleet

Lavinia currently manages eight such tankers with a capacity of between 5,700 dwt and 17,100 dwt each.

Laskaridis has been quiet on the tanker sale-and-purchase market for more than six years, according to available records. However, the purchase of the Chemical Aquarius fits the company's existing pattern.

The ship is understood to have been lined up to eventually replace the 16,800-dwt Seafrost (built 1988). The Seafrost has been serving Lavinia's fleet off the coast of Argentina, which is a prime hunting ground for fishing trawlers and reefers.

The 18,000-dwt Chemical Aquariusis is understood to have been lined up to eventually replace the 16,800-dwt Seafrost (built 1988) pictured Photo: Lavinia Corp

Lavinia prefers operating tankers built in China, such as the Chemical Aquarius which was built by Zhejiang Hangchang Shipbuilding. Being just over six years old, it falls within the age range of the tankers the company usually employs. The Seafrost aside, all of the tankers managed by Lavinia were built between 2009 and 2012.

Lavinia bought the Chemical Aquarius from Chinese interests. Its ownership was listed between 2012 and early 2018 under China's Huarong Huiyin. In March last year, shipping directories showed it passing to Zhejiang-based Maple Leaf Shipping.

Managers at Maple Leaf did not respond to an email request for comment.