Adam Polemis company New Shipping is believed to be pouncing on a 13-year-old, scrubber-fitted suezmax put up for sale by Eastern Pacific Shipping.
Market sources and brokers relate that the 164,000-dwt Nobleway (built 2010) is changing hands between the two firms at a price between $47m and $47.5m.
Built at Bohai Shipbuilding in China, the Nobleway is the oldest among the six suezmaxes featured on the Eastern Pacific website’s fleet list.
The Nobleway is the company’s only suezmax not capable of going through the new Panama Canal locks.
Idan Ofer-controlled Eastern Pacific was rumoured earlier this year to have sold another tanker as well, the much more modern 114,200-dwt Tyrrhenian Sea (built 2019). However, a source familiar with Eastern Pacific denied that the company had any intention of selling the vessel.
The Nobleway’s purported buyer New Shipping seems to have been on the prowl for scrubber-fitted tankers as it parts ways with some of its oldest tonnage.
Last month, some brokers linked the company to two of four VLCCs that South Korea’s Sinokor was reported to be selling: the 314,000-dwt scrubber-fitted pair C Spirit and C Challenger (both built 2013).
Both ships are still listed with Sinokor.
The Polemis VLCC purchase rumours came a few weeks after the Greek owner offloaded his oldest such vessel, the 319,400-dwt Good News (built 2002), for close to $35m.
The Good News emerged in September with Hong Kong-based Hongkong Unitop Group and is currently trading as the Eternal Fortune.
Deals for suezmaxes, such as the Nobleway, have been much rarer on the secondhand market than for aframaxes or MRs.
However, the rising asset value of suezmaxes suggests that such vessels continue to be sought-after by potential buyers.
According to Athens-based Seaborne Shipbrokers, the average secondhand price for a 15-year-old suezmax rose at a monthly pace of 6.5% in November to $45m. Only aframaxes topped that increase, with a rise of 6.6% over the same period.