South Korean shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding (O&S) has announced that oil tanker magnate John Fredriksen has ordered up to six VLCCs in his personal capacity.
The order comprises two firm orders and four options, the company said on 19 June.
Each of the 300,000 dwt tankers is 330 m long, 60 m wide, and 30 m tall. The two firm orders will be delivered in the first half of 2017, but their cost was not disclosed.
Brokers said that although Fredriksen had ordered the ships privately, the tankers would be offered to Frontline 2012, the tanker-owning company in his empire.
STX O&S said the contract is tied to orders for two MR product tankers and four Capesize bulkers that its former Dalian yard clinched from Frontline in 2013. The Dalian yard is being liquidated after STX plunged into financial difficulty, while the main yard has been restructuring its debts.
STX O&S said that it had been leading orders for LR1 product tankers and the latest order for VLCCs showed it could strengthen its position as a builder of big and mid-sized tankers.
“We believe our technology in building mid-sized tankers helped us to land this order,” it said.