Italian tanker owner Navigazione Montanari has returned to the shipbuilding market after an absence of almost 18 years.

It has commissioned Singapore-listed Yangzijiang Shipbuilding to construct two 41,000-dwt product carriers.

Shipbuilding sources said the contract does not include any option vessels.

The company is said to be paying close to $45m each for the MR1 tankers and is scheduled to take delivery in 2027.