Teekay prepares to feast on slew of aframax newbuildings at STX
Canadian owner signs LOI with a South Korean yard after a year spent working on a deal that will see its ‘One Spirit’ green tanker design become a reality
Teekay Tankers has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with STX Offshore & Shipbuilding for a raft of up to 16 aframax newbuildings worth around $700m.
Brokers say the deal is for four firm 113,000-dwt long-range-two (LR2) tankers priced at a rock-bottom $43.5m each, with three additional options each consisting of a further quartet of ships. This is a significant discount on figures of $45m being quoted by newbuilding players for this size of vessel.
Teekay is said have options to add coatings, to make some of the ships suitable for clean products and to include salt-water scrubbers. Delivery dates are said to run from the end of 2015 into the following year.
Brokers add that the ships will be built to Teekay’s “One Spirit” eco-design, which incorporates a longer, slimmer hull form that the owner claims reduces fuel consumption by 30%. One explains that the newbuildings will have 260-metre overall length, compared to the 250 metres traditionally seen for vessels of this size, and a 42-metre beam. “It is sharp,” a broker said of the ship’s shape.
On its website, Teekay says the One Spirit design also incorporates a “G-type” engine and a larger, slower propeller.
Newbuilding market watchers say Teekay is taking advantage of the current low shipbuilding price to revamp and expand its fleet.
Shipbuilding players tell TradeWinds that Teekay, which is understood to have been working on the deal for over a year, originally approached four shipyards — Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), STX and SPP Shipbuilding in South Korea for its tanker requirements. But STX emerged as the front-runner.
STX officials that TradeWinds spoke to declined to comment on the newbuilding deal, citing confidentiality clauses.
A spokeswoman for Teekay says it does not comment on market rumours.
News of Teekay looking to expand its fleet emerged last month. Company boss Bruce Chan said the current cyclically low asset values provided favourable opportunities for investment in future growth, either through the ordering of new, fuel-efficient vessels or acquisition of existing tonnage.
Teekay’s newbuildings potentially represent the second-largest contract STX has secured this year. In January, oil major BP ordered up to 21 aframax and suezmax tankers worth more than $1.1bn at the Jinhae-based yard. That deal is for 10 aframaxes, plus six options, priced in the low $50m range, along with three suezmaxes, with options for two more at prices close to $60m each. STX is slated to deliver the tankers in 2014 and 2015.