John Fredriksen and Frontline’s lenders have made available nearly $2bn to fund the delivery of 24 modern VLCCs bought from Euronav. The deal to acquire the ships was struck in October for $2.35bn. Frontline said on Thursday it had entered into a senior secured term loan facility worth $1.41bn with a group of “relationship banks”. The tanker giant’s profit was hit in the third quarter as the mainstream fleet was swollen by vessels exiting Russian trades, with chief executive Lars Barstad describing July to September as a transitional “shoulder” period.


Ammonia carrier newbuildings are poised to make another leap in size if a project being developed by Greece’s Angelicoussis Group and US energy major Chevron is realised. Speaking at the World LNG Summit & Awards in Athens, Angelicoussis Group president and chief executive Maria Angelicoussis said the company has an agreement in principle with main strategic partner Chevron.

Scorpio’s latest coup in a spate of US Gulf export cargoes came as it booked the 49,900-dwt STI Esles II (built 2018) for a whopping time charter equivalent rate of $166,000 per day from the gulf to the west coast of Ecuador, which typically would involve a transit of the Panama Canal. As TradeWinds has reported, nearly 150 ships are waiting outside the Panama Canal as a rainfall crisis has led officials to ratchet down the number of vessels that can make it through the 100-year-old waterway. This has led some owners in various tonnage categories, particularly VLGCs, to eschew the passage and send their vessels for longer transits around the Cape of Good Hope.

Hiring a capesize bulk carrier on Wednesday would cost you over $7,000 per day more than it did 24 hours earlier, following the largest daily adjustment of the Baltic Capesize Index in 13 years. Baltic Exchange panellists added $7,140 to their daily assessment of average capesize spot rates across five key routes (5TC) on Wednesday, the biggest single rise since 2010 and the biggest ever rise in the 5TC assessment since it superseded the previous index in 2014.

The US government has sold the Iranian crude cargo seized from an Empire Navigation tanker seven months after a court order allowing the deal. Documents filed in the US federal court in Washington DC show that the oil offloaded from the 159,000-dwt tanker Suez Rajan (built 2011) went to an unnamed buyer for $83.4m.


UK shipbroker Braemar’s bosses are renewing their focus on expansion after a testing time taken up with a forensic examination of legacy transactions. The London shop has completed a probe into the way certain commissions were accounted for between 2006 and 2013. Chief executive James Gundy told TradeWinds the firm is very limited legally in what it can say about the past deals. But he said: “We obviously had to deal with that. We had to get certain things sorted. And we can say we’ve now dealt with the situation.”

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A catalogue of safety failures has been revealed by a probe into the grounding of a German multipurpose vessel off Scotland in 2021. MAIB found the Briese vessel diverged from the planned track when the second officer fell asleep. He had been drinking before and after going to the bridge, and subsequently fell asleep, with loud snoring being heard on the voyage data recorder.