Almi agrees VLCC order at Daewoo.
ALMI Tankers has followed up its surprise pre-Christmas order for 10 suezmaxes with a deal for two very large crude carriers at the same yard, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineeering.
The Athens-based company, the tanker stablemate of longer-established dry bulk company Fairsky Shipping & Trading, has inked a letter of intent for two 318,000 dwt VLCCs.
Neither side foresees any obstacle to proceeding with the final contract.
Both shipbuilder and owner are casting a veil over the price of the two ships but reliable sources put the value of the order at close to $200m, with a price per vessel perhaps just shy of the $100m mark.
The major South Korean yards are generally quoting about $105m for a VLCC today, according to brokers, but the two Almi units are also said to be high specification.
When the suezmax series was contracted at the end of last year, Daewoo"s rivals were said to have dropped out partly due to reluctance to accept orders for up to four years ahead in a volatile cost environment.
The indications are that similar factors influenced the destination of the VLCC order with Daewoo said to have been readier than some rivals to face the reality of the sharp dive in VLCC prices.
The new deal closely echoes the philosophy of the suezmax project, which envisages deliveries in 2012-2013.
For that order Almi paid an estimated $240m deposit, which will have gone a long way to covering DSME"s anxieties about the forward building schedule.
The VLCC agreement stipulates deliveries in the third and fourth quarters of 2013 and it is understood that the terms once again include a 40% upfront payment.
?I believe that this is not the right time to take delivery of big tankers,? Almi chairman Costas Fostiropoulos told Lloyd"s List.
?In terms of the world economy, we feel that there will be a very shallow recovery for the western world,? he said.
The group was investing based on the view that ?hopefully things will be better by 2013?.
It is DSME"s second VLCC deal for Greek owners so far this year, following a contract last month with the Angelicoussis Group"s tanker arm Maran Tankers for two VLCCs last month.
At the same time Angelicoussis also contracted a pair of capesize bulk carriers.