Belgium-based Euronav tanker owner has decided to expand its fleet by exercising a previously agreed option for an additional VLCC newbuild.

The tanker owner, listed on Euronext Brussels and on the NYSE, agreed to buy one VLCC newbuilding back in August, with an option for a second one to be lifted in the next two months.

As the owner informs this option has now been lifted, and the purchase will cost $112.2m with “highly favourable payment terms and schedule.”

The vessel is expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2026.

Euronav’s owned and operated fleet consists of one V-Plus vessel, 41 VLCCs (with a further one under construction), 22 Suezmaxes (with a further four under construction) and 2 FSO vessels.

Euronav employs its fleet both on the spot and period market. VLCCs on the spot market are traded in the Tankers International pool of which Euronav is one of the major partners.

The shipowner has been stealing the headlines recently after the announcement that tanker shipowner Frontline will acquire a modern fleet of 24 VLCC tankers from Euronav´s fleet for $2.35 billion.

The ships in question are young, with an average age of 5.3 years, and from the 24 VLCC tankers the 22 are Korean built and nine are scrubber fitted.

Frontline and Famatown will agree to sell all their shares (representing 26.12% of Euronav’s issued shares) in Euronav to CMB for $18.43 per share, to be followed by a public mandatory takeover at the same price.

Following the acquisition of Euronav shares from Frontline and Famatown, CMB will own 49.05% of Euronav’s issued shares (representing 53% of the voting rights in Euronav).

Furthermore, Euronav’s pending arbitration action filed in January 2023 against Frontline and affiliates, following Frontline’s withdrawal from their combination agreement, would be terminated conditional to the share sale.