George Procopiou has extended his newbuilding run with the addition of four kamsarmax bulkers.

Managers with the Greek shipowner confirmed that his dry bulk company, Sea Traders — run by Ioanna Procopiou as CEO — returned to China’s Hengli Heavy Industry (Hengli HI) to order four wide-beam 82,000-dwt ships.

According to shipbuilding sources, the units are to be delivered in 2026. The deal brings the number of kamsarmaxes the company has on order at the shipyard to 14.

Sea Traders’ earlier 10 newbuildings were ordered in the middle of last year at $35m each.

The price for the latest quartet has yet to emerge, but Clarksons’ market report puts the cost of a kamsarmax bulker at $35.75m.

The latest deal at Hengli HI means Sea Traders has a total of 26 kamsarmaxes on order in China and has lifted its spending on the ship type to exceed $920m.

State-owned CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding is building eight 85,000-dwt vessels to be delivered in 2025 and 2026, while Qingdao Yangfan Shipbuilding is constructing four 82,000-dwt ships for 2026 delivery.

Sea Traders was reported to be paying about $37m each for the Huangpu Wenchong newbuildings, as they are slightly larger.

The kamsarmaxes at the three Chinese shipyards will be conventionally powered, built to the International Maritime Organization’s Tier III NOx standards and meet the Energy Efficiency Design Index’s phase 3 requirement for greenhouse gas emissions.

Besides the 26 bulk carriers on order for Sea Traders, Procopiou has also secured newbuildings for tankers and LNG carriers through his other companies — Dynacom Tankers and Dynagas.

Clarksons lists Dynacom Tankers with 30 ships ranging between LR1s and VLCCs at various Chinese shipyards. Dynagas has 10 large 200,000-cbm LNG carriers booked at HD Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

Shipyard reborn

Hengli HI is the former STX Dalian Shipbuilding established by South Korea’s STX Group.

The yard exited shipbuilding in 2013 with the collapse of the market.

Hengli Group — a private petrochemical company — acquired STX Dalian in 2022 for CNY 1.73bn ($240m) to turn it into an offshore manufacturing base and shipbuilding yard.

Hengli HI, which has more than 40 newbuildings worth over $2bn on its books, has just celebrated its first anniversary.

The Chinese shipyard has launched its first newbuilding — the 20,000-dwt bulker Heng Li 31 — which will be owned by Hengli Group and is scheduled to be delivered by May this year.

Hengli HI is also manufacturing large hull blocks for Samsung Heavy Industries.