Two major shipowners have placed orders for VLCC newbuildings at the same Chinese shipyard in a move that could see 14 VLCCs worth $1.8bn added to the orderbook.

The scale of the deal marks a notable increase in VLCC newbuilding activity following a prolonged period of limited action.

The tankers are attributed to John Fredriksen’s Seatankers and Evangelos Marinakis’ Capital Maritime & Trading, underscoring a resurgence of interest in the market.