Avic International Leasing is back in the shipbuilding market after three years.

The Chinese leasing company has struck a deal with New Dayang Shipbuilding for two ultramax bulk carriers to be delivered in 2024.

They will be built to the International Maritime Organization’s Tier III NOx standards and based on a Crown 63-Plus design.

The contract was signed in a virtual ceremony by Avic Leasing, New Dayang and Sumec Marine.

Shipbuilding brokers think Avic Leasing is paying around $32.5m each for the 63,000-dwt newbuildings, a price similar to the four ship-order that China Merchants Bank Financial Leasing signed at New Dayang this month.

Avic Leasing is an old client of New Dayang. The last time it ordered newbuildings at the Yangzhou shipyard was four years ago, when it signed up for six ultramaxes of IMO Tier II standards. They were delivered in 2019 and 2020.

Avic Leasing, which has financed 230 vessels worth more than CNY20bn ($29.8bn) since its first shipping deal, has a diversified fleet of 55 ships on the water, according to VesselsValue.

It is listed with 28 bulkers, 23 tankers, three gas carriers and a wind farm installation vessel.

It also has two 85,000-dwt bulker newbuildings under construction at Shanhaiguan Shipbuilding Industry, a subsidiary of Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co.

The pair are believed to be part of a 10-ship order that it booked at the state-owned yard in early 2019 on the back of charter contracts from SDTR Marine in Singapore.

Last year, Avic Leasing was reported to have taken advantage of the strong bulker market to sell one of the kamsarmax newbuildings for a near-$8m profit.

It was reported to have sold hull No B85k-9 through Zhejiang Shipping Exchange’s online platform Shipbid for $36.03m. The vessel is due to be delivered shortly.