Oil trader Vitol has signed shipbuilding contracts with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of two 84,000 cu m VLGCs.
The ships are expected to be delivered in the first half of 2019, and Vitol has the option to order six more VLGCs which could see the order value soar to $600m.
Vitol currently owns a fleet of three tankers with an additional three suezmax tankers due for delivery from South Korea’s Sungdong Shipbuilding this year. It also manages a fleet of around 115 vessels on time charter via Mansel and controls 16 tankers in its joint venture Latvian Shipping Company.
In June, Vitol increased its shareholding in Latvian Shipping Company to 70% by acquiring an additional 19.62% shares in the company.