According to MANA, The deal, signed with Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry, provides for four firm 82,000 dwt bulkers to be delivered starting in the second half of 2019, plus two pairs of optional vessels.
No price was given for the bulkers, which will be constructed at Cosco Zhoushan. However, it is understood that if all the options are exercised, the cost of the project will come close to $200m.
Aegean already has two aframax tanker newbuildings on order with the same Chinese builder, with 2018-scheduled delivery dates.These are said to be on course for completion by about mid-next year.
Greece-based Aegean has solidly concentrated on tanker business since its creation in 1995 and its current fleet comprises five product tankers including four 2014-built medium-range tankers collectively branded as the ‘Green Fleet’ that are all on long-term charter to Stena Weco.
“We believe this is the right time to enter and we are very happy to be collaborating with our partners at Cosco Shipping in this exciting new venture,” said Mr Melissanidis, the company’s chairman.
“This is a very significant newbuilding order for us and it is firmly aligned with our diversification and fleet expansion strategy via modern and efficient vessels,” Mr Poulovassilis said.