Samudera Shipping Line is reported to have made its first sale-and-purchase move of 2022, buying a small chemical tanker from Eastern Pacific Shipping.

Broking reports list the Singapore-listed Indonesian shipping company as having acquired the 20,000-dwt Ebony Ray (built 2008) for $14m.

The deal is said to have a three-year time charter to GSB Tankers at $13,750 per day attached to it.

The Ebony Ray is the oldest of five small chemical tankers of around 20,000 dwt that are in the Eastern Pacific fleet. The remaining four vessels were built between 2011 and 2020.

While the ship is of a size category that Eastern Pacific appears to have not shown much interest in lately, it is one that Samudera appears keen to expand, albeit slowly.

The company purchased a similar vessel, the 20,900-dwt chemical tanker Saranga (built 2006), for $12.5m in December 2021. Delivery of the ship took place in April, when it was renamed Sinar Malahayati and put under the Singapore flag.

The majority of Samudera’s other 12 tankers are between 3,000 dwt and 11,500 dwt.

Since 2020, Samudera has been “systematically” disposing of all its older and less efficient vessels in favour of newer, larger and more efficient ones as part of a fleet-renewal programme, and to meet growing demand for its services, it said in an April filing to the Singapore exchange.

Although this is mostly applicable to the company’s fleet of container ships, it did buy two small chemical tankers in addition to the Saranga in 2021.

Eastern Pacific did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while TradeWinds was unable to reach Samudera executives for confirmation of the deal.