Belgium-based tanker operator Euronav has announced it is buying a fourth scrubber equipped newbuilding.
Currently completing construction at the DSME shipyard in South Korea the modern eco-VLCC is being acquired for $93m. The vessel is due for delivery early in the first quarter of 2021 and is an identical sister ship of the three VLCCs acquired last month.
Hugo de Stoop, CEO said: “Management and the board continue to believe that the fundamentals of the large tanker market remain constructive despite substantial headwinds surrounding economic activity linked to the Coronavirus. We believe and hope these will be temporary albeit likely to impact tanker markets until the end of the summer 2020.”
The impact of coronavirus on oil demand has been dramatic and following failure of OPEC talks over the weekend, crude prices have dropped more than 25% in early trading today. As oil prices have fell over recent weeks so the differential between ULSFO and HFO has dropped significantly. There is still a more the $100 premium for 2020 compliant fuel but that is down from over $300 at the beginning of the year. The change makes the payback period for scrubbers longer but still gives some advantage for scrubber equipped vessels