Carsten Mortensen tellsTradeWinds a letter of intent has been signed for four eco MRs.

He does not reveal theyard involved or the price of the ships, which have been booked to replacevessels sold at the tail end of 2012.

As TradeWinds reported inNovember Norden offloaded the 51,000-dwt Nord Strait(built 2007), the Nord Sound(built 2008) and the Nord Sea (built2006) at what Mortensen says was a small profit.

Itspending order fits the recent strategy for the Danish owner in building up itstanker fleet.

“Nowthe gun is pointed towards our biggest asset area [dry-cargo] and that is wherewe will focus for the next period of time,” Mortensen said.

AsTradeWinds has reported Norden has been active in the dry-cargo period chartermarket in recent times and Mortensen also sees a long window of opportunity tobuy new bulkers.

“Wehave an appetite for investing at the right price,” he said. “If the prices goup we will pull back.”

Mortensensays 2013 could be another brutal year for the dry-cargo market, supportingNorden’s fourth quarter report which warns of financial difficulties andcounterparty risks.

Buthe is encouraged by recent progress in the panamax market around the grainseason and suggests the middle sections of the bulk market are where Nordenwill look to boost its fleet.

Ecoships are predictably on the agenda and with distress in the air it is open tomove on opportunities and potentially upgrade existing orders, he explains.

Nordentoday reported strong fourth quarter operating numbers with EBITDA of $44m smashing forecasts.

Mortensen says the ownerhad a fantastic quarter, and was particularly pleased with the strong showingof the tanker division as its ships outperformed those of some “more vocalcompetitors”.