International Seaways boosts LR1 portfolio with K Shipbuilding orders

New York-listed tanker owner International Seaways has expanded its fleet orderbook with LR1 newbuilds in South Korea.

The company entered into contracts and declared options to build a total of six scrubber-fitted, dual-fuel (LNG) ready, LR1 vessels in Korea with K Shipbuilding Co, at a price in aggregate of approximately $347m. Four out of the six contracts were executed in 2023.

In March 2024, the company exercised options on two additional vessels. The vessels are expected to be delivered beginning in the second half of 2025 through the third quarter of 2026. After delivery, these vessels are expected to join the company’s niche, Panamax International Pool.

In addition to newbuilds, the owner sold a 2009-built MR vessel, whilst it took delivery of three purchased MRs out of six with expected delivery later this year.

Specifically, the Lois K. Zabrocky-led owner reported that it took delivery of three eco MRs, out of the six vessels under contract to purchase, in the second quarter of 2024. The remaining vessels are expected to deliver by the end of the second quarter of 2024.

“Supplementing the company’s returns to shareholders, our agreement to acquire six MRs and exercise options on two additional dual-fuel LR1s reflects Seaways’ focus on executing a balanced capital allocation strategy to maximize value creation,” said Lois K. Zabrocky, International Seaways president and chief executive.

“We remain optimistic about the direction of the market based on attractive supply and demand fundamentals supported by growing oil demand, the evolving global energy trade, and a historically low tanker orderbook,” he added.

Meanwhile, the owner has sold a 2009-built MR for net proceeds of $23m, after fees and commissions, during the second quarter of 2024.

The vessel was delivered to its buyers in April 2024 and as it is revealed the company recognized a gain on the sale.