An expanding Abu Dhabi ship manager and owner has emerged as the owner of four vessels sold off by sanctioned Russian state shipping company Sovcomflot (SCF Group).

Brokers reported that Al Seer Marine Supplies & Equipment has acquired two VLCCs, the 321,000-dwt SCF Shanghai (built 2014) and Svet (built 2013), plus two LPG carriers, the 20,550-cbm Sibur Voronezh and 20,311-cbm Sibur Tobol (both built 2013).

No prices have been disclosed, but VesselsValue rates the quartet as worth $183m.

The ships appear on Al Seer’s website as under management with new names.

The SCF Shanghai is now Twin Pollux and the Svet is Twin Castor, while the Sibur Voronezh has become Alkaid and the Sibur Tobol has been renamed Alcor.

Al Seer is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi industrial conglomerate International Holding Co.

The manager said in April that it had completed an AED 495m ($135m) financing transaction to build two VLGCs ordered by ABGC DMCC, its $170m joint venture with energy trader BGN International.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is funding the duo being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

The 86,000-cbm ships, costing $81m each, are due in 2023.

Al Seer, which also has 10 bulkers under management, listed in Abu Dhabi last year.

The company declined to comment on the deals.

Big plans to expand

Chief executive Guy Neivens said in April that the group, which also builds unmanned vessels, was aiming to increase its fleet by a further 15 ships through acquisitions this year.

In March, Al Seer missed out in a bidding battle to buy two MR tankers under construction at South Korea’s K Shipbuilding, formerly STX Offshore & Shipbuilding.

The ships, sold for a total of $77m to Pacific Carriers, were originally ordered by South Korea’s Dong-A Tanker.

Russian owner offloads 14 ships

Sovcomflot told TradeWinds this week that it had sold 14 ships to meet a European Union deadline on the winding up of loans with European banks.

Four LNG carriers were bought by Idan Ofer’s Eastern Pacific Shipping, while four LNG-fuelled aframaxes were acquired by Evangelos Marinakis’ Capital Ship Management.

The 47,200-dwt MR2 tanker Tuchkov Bridge (built 2004) was reported sold in March. Brokers are now linking this ship to Singapore’s VR Marine Management, which is listed with no other vessels.

This makes a total of 13 sales, but number 14 in the fleet sale has not yet been reported.