Sunne Co, a new Dalian-based tanker company, has rapidly expanded its fledgling tanker fleet to five vessels in the space of six months.

The latest additions are two former Pantheon Tankers suezmaxes that TradeWinds reported as sold to Chinese interests at the end of July.

The 159,100-dwt crude carriers Astro Polaris and Astro Phoenix (both built 2004), which were reported as sold for $43m en bloc, have been delivered to their new owner and renamed Aquilla II and Apus, respectively, according to VesselsValue data.

S&P Global Ships Register indicates that Sunne began its buying spree in March with a series of aframax tanker purchases.

The first was the 115,600-dwt Aries Sun (built 2006), which came from the fleet of Zodiac Maritime. The sale price is reported as $31.3m, and the tanker was handed over to Sunne in May when it was renamed Emily S.

Greek owners subsequently became Sunne’s main tonnage supplier, with Pantheon in April providing the Chinese company with its second ship in the form of the 105,100-dwt Astro Sculptor (built 2003) in exchange for a reported $15.6m. The ship was renamed Amber 6 on joining the Sunne fleet at the beginning of May.

The company’s third acquisition came in the form of Atlas Maritime’s 105,500-dwt Mitera Marigo (built 2007), bought at the end of May for $24.5m and renamed Heidi A on delivery in late June.

Sunne has spent a total of $114.4m to establish its five-ship fleet.

On paper, the tankers are owned by separate Hong Kong-registered special purpose vehicles, and managed by Sunne, or in the case of the recently purchased suezmax pair, by Occee Co, whose listed address is located in the same building.

Tracking data

TradeWinds reached out to Sunne but apart from confirming that the company now had a five-strong fleet, its executives declined to comment on its plans and how it intends to operate its ships.

Publicly accessible vessel-tracking data showed the company’s aframaxes to be trading in European waters. The Heidi A on Friday morning was entering the Baltic in ballast with Denmark listed as its next destination.

The Amber 6 has mostly operated in the Mediterranean since being acquired, and on Friday was on a voyage from the Turkish port of Korfez to Rotterdam. The Emily S has also been trading between the Red Sea and Europe, but was anchored off the Indian port of Vadinar, with Port Said listed as its next destination.

The recently acquired suezmaxes were in the South China Sea.