Denmark's Maersk Tankers is set to add 11 ships to its managed fleet in a deal with BP Shipping and ICBC Financial Leasing.

The company will take each vessel from the Chinese owner under a bareboat charter arrangement.

It will then hire them out to BP under a three-year time charter.

Maersk Tankers will have full responsibility for operational risks and technical management.

“We are excited to enter into this agreement and are honoured that two industry leaders have selected us as a trusted partner. With this agreement, we increase our fleet under management to 198 vessels from more than 30 different partners – cementing our strong position within the industry,” said Soren Meyer, chief asset officer at Maersk Tankers.

The vessels are ICBC's three suezmaxes, plus three MRs and five handysizes, all built in South Korea between 2016 and 2017.

ICBC is listed as owning BP's 158,000-dwt STX-built British Tradition, British Heritage and British Century (built 2017), as well as a series of MRs and handysizes built at Hyundai Mipo.

Tommy Thomassen, chief technical officer at Maersk Tankers, said: “Our technical management services build upon Maersk Tankers’ high safety standards, extensive technical experience and a proven ability to run vessels cost- and fuel-efficiently with a strong emphasis on cutting CO2 emissions.

"We look forward to leveraging our capabilities and strong operational track-record to manage the vessels in the best interest of both partners.”

Delivery of the first tankers should take place early in 2020, with the rest following throughout the year.

Fleet shake-up

The company has been offloading older tonnage this year - and adding newer ships.

Expanding Indian owner Seven Islands Shipping spent $8m on the 35,000-dwt Rita Maersk (built 2004), which has been renamed Feather.

The vessel was one of three Maersk Tankers ships that had been circulated for sale in recent weeks, together with the 36,900-dwt Maersk Etienne (both built 2004) and the 35,200-dwt Roy Maersk (built 2005).

Last month, the Malaysian energy group ENRA made its debut in the tanker arena after buying another Maersk Tankers vessel.

The company said it had acquired the 37,000-dwt Maersk Edgar (built 2004) for $9.3m in cash.

Before that, Maersk Tankers snapped up a fleet of seven handysize product tankers from Malaysian shipowner AET, paying $93.5m in an en-bloc sale.

Both parties confirmed the deal for seven 38,000-dwt product and chemical carriers which were built by South Korean yard STX Offshore & Shipbuilding in 2009 and 2010. The vessels are IMO chemical-handling type 2 and 3 units.