Singapore-based Pioneer Bulk has splashed out about $204m on a series of ultramax bulk carrier newbuildings.

A subsidiary of China’s Pioneer Logistics, Pioneer Bulk has struck a deal with China’s Jiangsu New Hantong Ship Heavy Industry for six 63,500-dwt bulkers.

Although Hantong did not reveal the price and delivery dates, newbuilding brokers suggested to TradeWinds that the Chinese shipyards would be seeking around $34m for the ship type.

They suggested that Hantong will be delivering the 63,500-dwt vessels between the second half of 2026 and 2027.

In a release, it said the design of the conventionally fuelled vessel was developed by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute.

The bulk carrier newbuildings will be built to the International Maritime Organization’s Tier III NOx standards.

Pioneer Bulk was created in March 2020. Its website states that the management team have more than 20 years of experience in dry bulk shipping.

The company controls 11 bulk carriers that include one supramax, one capesize and one newcastlemax.

Pioneer Bulk is a sister company to Pioneer Tanker, which is also based in Singapore.

The tanker company recently ordered seven 18,500-dwt IMO type 2/3 chemical tankers at Fujian Southeast Shipyard in China at a reported price of close to $33m apiece. The vessels will comply with Phase 3 of the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index standards and Tier II NOx rules.

Pioneer Bulk has also been looking to boost its presence in the tanker sector.

It is scheduled to take delivery of two new tankers in the second half of 2025 and five in 2026.

Pioneer Tanker was launched in 2021 and built up its fleet by acquiring tankers previously ordered or owned by Xihe Holdings.

The owner of parent company Pioneer Logistics is not known.

But shipping sources said the company originated from Qingdao in China.

Besides owning Pioneer Tanker and Pioneer Bulk, Pioneer Logistics also controls two other Singapore-registered companies, Pioneer Line and Y&D Marine, as well as Ningbo Zrich Shipping in China.

Jiangsu New Hantong was established in 2003 and is a privately owned shipyard based in Jiangsu province.

The shipyard has so far delivered aframaxes, LR2s and bulk carriers up to capesize. But in February, it entered the VLCC segment by contracting two 319,000-dwt crude carriers from commodities giant Trafigura.

Brokers said the 319,000-dwt scrubber-fitted VLCCs will not cost more than $120m each.