The Mumbai-based company is searching for two Japanese-built chemical tankers of 14,000 dwt and 20,000 dwt.

Senior director, Sahil Lihala, says the company expects to acquire at least one by the end of this year and the other probably next year.

The company last year was in negotiation with German KG (limited partnership) house Konig & Cie to acquire the Admiralteyskiy-built, 33,540-dwt Cape Blanc (built 1998) for $9.2m but the deal failed midway for undisclosed reasons.

Lihala says Zen believes that petrochemicals exports out of the Middle East are likely to grow at around 15% annually for the next five to six years, providing it with an opportunity to find adequate employment opportunities for its fleet.