China’s independent refiner Baota Petrochemical Group is making its debut into the tanker market, announcing plans to form a tanker fleet by bareboat chartering up to 60 tankers.
Baota plans to bareboat charter the 60 product tankers from a number of international tanker owners including Maersk Tankers, Hafnia Tankers, Scorpio Tankers, Valt and Golden Energy Management. The chartering periods of the vessels range from four years to ten years.
Baota also entered into an agreement with Mare Maritime Singapore to collaborate on the major ship chartering project. Under the agreement, Mare Maritime Singapore will act as one of the ship management service providers for the chartered ships.
Mare Maritime operates from both Athens and Singapore, the company currently manages a fleet of chemical tankers operating both on time charter and on the spot market.
Shipbroking firm McQuilling is also a partner for the deal.
When contacted by Splash, Morten Vind, a senior shipbroker at McQuilling, who attended the signing ceremony for the agreement, declined to comment on the deal.
Maersk Tankers confirmed to Splash that it is in negotiations for a major ship deal but no final agreement has been signed yet.
“We can confirm that we are in dialogue with various potential partners concerning a possible sale of a number of vessels, which includes a subsequent commercial management agreement with Maersk Tankers. As no final agreement is in place we are unable to comment further at this point in time,” a spokesperson at Maersk Tankers told Splash.
An official at Baota Petrchemical said to Splash the company is still in negotiations with the relevant parties regarding the ship chartering deals and cannot reveal more at this stage.
Baota Petrochemical Group, headquartered in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, operates refinery bases in Xinjiang, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, and Guandong, with total annual refining capacity of around 15m tons.
This month, China has issued a second batch of oil import quotas for independent refiners and trading companies with a total volume of 11.91m tonnes. Baota Petrochemical was granted a large share of 1.08m tonnes in the quota.