Hong Kong-listed Seacon Shipping is being linked to an order for a series of 50,000-dwt product tanker newbuildings at a domestic shipyard.

The deal would mark the Chinese company’s debut in the MR newbuilding arena and move to diversify.

Qingdao-headquartered Seacon is said to have teamed up with CSSC Shipping — the shipowning arm of China State Shipbuilding Co — to order four tankers at Chengxi Shipyard.

The price has yet to be confirmed, but newbuilding brokers put a figure of $45m apiece on the tankers.

Chengxi is scheduled to deliver two vessels in 2025 and two in 2027.

“Chengxi has a strong order backlog of newbuildings, but it is a very productive shipbuilder … it has managed to squeeze out two early berths,” said one shipbuilding source.

Sources said Seacon is looking to build up its presence in the tanker market as part of its fleet diversification plan, as the company is better known as a dry bulk company.

A shipowner and third-party ship management company, Seacon owns a total of 29 vessels of 14.5m dwt and manages around 170 ships.

It owns a fleet of 21 bulk carriers comprising one capesize, six panamaxes, and seven supramaxes and seven handysizes.

Hong Kong listing

The tanker business has three handysize product carriers, four chemical tankers and one small asphalt and bitumen carrier.

Seacon raised HKD 408.75m ($52m) from its listing on the Hong Kong Exchange on March 2023.

Online database VesselsValue shows the Chinese owner ordered seven newbuildings at Chinese and Japanese shipyards last year after it went public.

It has two 62,000-dwt multipurpose vessels on order at Huanghai Shipbuilding, two 42,200-dwt bulk carriers at Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, two 40,000-dwt bulkers at Namura Shipbuilding and a single 13,500-dwt general cargo ship at Murakami Hide Shipbuilding.

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