Navig8 has tapped Chinese and Taiwanese tanker owners to form a new handysize pool and boost its VLCC presence.

The UK pools group said its Handy Pool has been founded with four modern vessels controlled by Seacon Shipping Group of Shandong, China.

These are the 34,800 Golden Camellia, Golden Dahlia, Golden Daisy (all built 2021) and Golden Lavender (built 2022).

Seacon has a fleet of 48 operational ships, plus six bulkers on order.

There are also two other product tankers of 20,000 dwt, as well as three bitumen carriers.

Navig8’s website also shows the 40,200-dwt Miss Claudia (built 2006) in the pool.

Brokers reported this ship as sold by Navig8 for $11.5m to an unknown Greek owner in May.

Navig8 has also been busy adding VLCCs to its VL8 operation.

Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Co has contributed the 297,200-dwt FPMC C Melody (built 2011) and FPMC C Noble (built 2012).

Navig8 also said Greece’s Tsakos Energy Navigation has handed over its 299,000-dwt Hercules I (built 2017) to the pool.

VLCC fleet hits 14 ships

There are now 11 VLCCs in the VL8 pool, plus a further three operated by the VL8 Plus venture.

Navig8 also announced four additions to other pools.

Greek owner Allseas Marine’s 159,800-dwt suezmax RS Aurora (built 2018) has been added to the Suez8 operation, while Turkey’s Active Shipping has contributed the 74,000-dwt Fair Winds (built 2007) to the LR8 pool.

The 110,000-dwt aframax Lyric Magnolia (built 2016), owned by Orpheus Marine of Greece, has joined the Alpha8 Pool, and the 49,000-dwt Sea Dolphin (built 2019), owned by Greece's Pantheon Tankers, is a new name in the MR operation.

In November, TradeWinds reported that Navig8 was back in expansion mode, ahead of expected recoveries in the clean products and crude markets.

It took in 14 tankers through a combination of third-party management and time charter exposure with outside partners.

While Navig8 would not break down the specific terms, it is understood that the additions are heavily weighted towards product tankers, and that it has formed charter partnerships with the external investors.

Navig8 added eight LR2s, two LR1s, three aframaxes and one VLCC within a month, US-based commercial director Jason Klopfer acknowledged.

“We have experienced significant growth over recent weeks. Additions have come from pool commitments, commercial management agreements and support of outside partners sharing time charter exposure with Navig8,” he said.

Libya’s GNMTC and Greece’s Chartworld were among those contributing ships, as well as Neda Maritime, International Seaways and Navios Maritime Partners.

Navig8, led by principals Nicolas Busch and Gary Brocklesby, controls or manages about 130 tankers overall.