Suezmax tanker specialist Nordic American Tankers is growing its fleet portfolio to 20 tankers, with company predicting a strong market for its ships.

US-listed NAT said on Thursday that it had sealed a purchase agreement to add another vessel to its suezmax fleet.

The firm did not disclose the name or the price tag of the vessel but said the unit has been “operated and well maintained by a top shipowner” for the last six to seven years.

The agreement for the unidentified South Korean-built ship takes the Herbjorn Hansson-led company´s fleet to 20 suezmaxes.

The ship is purchased on a charter-free basis and is expected to be financed via sale leaseback.

“The vessel is purchased on a charter free basis and we intend to finance the purchase with a sale leaseback financing – an arrangement that has worked very well for us in the past,” NAT said in a release.

Furthermore, the vessel will be included in the company´s fleet within this quarter, “entering a strong market.”

“We expect the vessel to generate positive cashflow and be a dividend contributor from day one,” noted NAT.

The company expressed its confidence, in an update addressed to its shareholders and investors, that the “market its good for its ships,” as characteristically said on September 29.

According to NAT´s statement at the end of August, the net income for the first half of 2023 is in excess of $100 million higher than for the same period last year. The net income for the first six months of 2023 totaled $73.7 million compared to the net loss of -$30.9 million during the first six months of 2022.

“The direction of NAT is unquestionably on the upward path,” NAT added.