Pertamina International Shipping (PIS) has chartered a pair of 91,000-cbm LPG carriers fresh out of a South Korean shipbuilding yard to SwissChemGas, the LPG shipping affiliate of Athens-based SwissMarine.

The vessels are two of four VLGCs that the Indonesian tanker giant quietly acquired as newbuilding resales towards the end of last year.

Executives at PIS confirmed to TradeWinds that Bermuda-registered SwissChemGas has taken the Pertamina Gas Caspia for a maximum of six years and the Pertamina Gas Dahlia for a maximum of seven years. They did not mention what rate the pair was earning.

The two VLGCs were acquired as newbuilding resales from Norwegian shipping mogul John Fredriksen’s Avance Gas in December last year.

PIS was reported to have paid $240m for the pair, which were originally to have been named Avance Castor and Avance Pollux.

The Pertamina Gas Caspia, which was delivered by Hanwha Ocean in April, is currently at Houston where it is set to load its first cargo, while the Pertamina Gas Dahlia was delivered at the shipbuilder’s yard on the South Korean island of Okpo on 9 May.

Their acquisitions were part of PIS’ expansion drive in the international VLGC trades which began several months earlier when the company splashed out $222m to buy two 90,980-cbm LPG carrier resales from Evalend Shipping.

Delivered by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in January this year as Pertamina Gas Bergenia and Pertamina Gas Tulip, the pair became the first ships in a gas shipping joint-venture PIS formed with energy trader BGN International.

The addition of these four vessels gives PIS a total of seven VLGCs.

Chief executive Yoki Firnandi said the relatively young average age of the company’s VLGC fleet gives them a strong market advantage, and the latest additions are prioritized for international routes.

These vessels have been equipped with energy-saving devices and shaft generators that increase fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, and they use environmentally friendly dual-fuel and selective catalytic reduction technology to reduce NOx emissions.

Pertamina International Shipping's 91,000-cbm Pertamina Gas Caspia is one of two recently delievered VLGCs that were acquired as newbuilding resales from Avance Gas. Photo: Pertamina International Shipping

With the addition of these vessels, PIS’ fleet now stands at 102 owned ships, comprising of VLCCs, VLGCs, suezmax vessels, along with numerous product tankers and gas carriers of various sizes.

The company, a market-oriented spinoff off of the Indonesian state-owned oil major, deploys its newest ships in the international tanker and gas markets, while keeping older ships in the domestic cabotage trade, supplemented by tonnage chartered in from compatriot shipowners.

Around 60 of PIS’ own ships are currently operating in the international markets.

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