Japanese owner follows up VLGC order with deal for smaller vessel.
Singapore’s Kumiai Navigation (KN) is diversifying into smaller LPG carriers with an order at Sasaki Zosen.
Brokers said two 5,000-cbm ships will be delivered in October and December 2019.
No price has been given.
A KN executive confirmed a deal for one ship and said Sasaki is looking to include an optional vessel, with discussions still taking place with the shipyard.
Shipbuilding players believe the company is paying well over $20m as the ship will be fixed with a scrubber and built to IMO Tier III standards.
KN said the newbuilding is still charter-free. However, it has a charterer in mind.
A subsidiary of Kumiai Senpaku in Japan, KN was established in Singapore 24 years ago. It operates independently from Kumiai Senpaku.
KN owns a fleet of 14 vessels which consists of four are VLGCs, five capesize bulk carriers, one panamax bulker and two supramaxes.
It also has a pair of VLGC newbuildings under construction at Kawasaki Heavy Industries for delivery in 2019 and 2020.
The VLGCs will be built to the old Tier II standards, but will be equipped with an exhaust gas scrubber, ready for the upcoming low-sulphur emissions regulations in 2020, TradeWinds has reported.
They are believed to be the first VLGCs from a Japanese shipyard to be equipped with a scrubber.
Industry players believed it would be paying an extra $2.5m-plus to install the equipment.