Megacore takes delivery of first tanker.
Omega Navigation"s recently unveiled joint venture with Glencore International has opened its account with a first newbuilding medium-range tanker that has been chartered to NYK Line for three years.
The delivery of the 37,000 dwt product/chemical tanker Megacore Honami is the first of three deliveries scheduled for 50-50 co-venture Megacore Shipping in 2010 from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea.
Altogether, Megacore has nine newbuildings on order at Hyundai Mipo, including one further MR1 and seven LR2 tankers, with four more deliveries due next year and the final two in 2012.
The order book was reshaped at the end of last year, when the joint venture was announced, from a total of 10 MR1 tankers that the two companies separately had on order at the same yard.
According to executives, the timing of the vessels on average was pushed back and the majority of the contracts converted to LR1s, a market segment of perceived greater strength.
At the same time, the joint venture allowed Omega to shore up its balance sheet and slash capital expenditure requirements.
The company said that the overall purchase cost remained similar to the original shipbuilding contracts, while the amount of equity for investment based on the vessels" assessed fair market values had been reduced.
While the vessels will be fully owned by Megacore, George Kassiotis-led Omega is providing the technical, operating and administrative services for the joint venture and Glencore is offering the commercial management through subsidiary ST Shipping.
Omega has said that the NYK charter for the Megacore Honami is at a confidential rate.
The Megacore venture builds on previous close ties between the two companies. Of Omega"s existing fleet of eight panamax and handymax product tankers, all but one are chartered to ST Shipping and a ninth vessel, the 2009-built Omega Duke, is also owned 50-50 with Glencore.
The exception is the 2004-built LR1 Mega King, which is currently on charter to Torm.
Nasdaq- and Singapore-listed Omega has also acquired an additional 46,000 dwt tanker newbuilding, due for delivery in July 2010, which has been chartered to ST Shipping for the next five years at a confidential rate with profit share arrangements.