Norden Orders Four Ultramax Dry Cargo Vessels from China
Norden, the Danish operator of dry cargo and product tankers, announced that it has entered into a newbuilding contract with the Chinese Nantong Cosco Khi Ship Engineering Co. for the construction of four 61,000 dwt dry cargo “Ultramax” ships. Delivery is expected during 2022.
The orders come at a time when activity in the sector and new shipbuilding has been impacted by the global economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus.
Comment on the strategy behind the order, Norden CEO Jan Rindbo noted that the newbuilding contract is in line with the company’s strategy of asset trading and active management of their cyclical market exposure. “Having sold 10 dry cargo vessels since 2018, we believe asset prices have now declined sufficiently to present a good trading opportunity to buy,” said Rindbo.
The newbuildings will join Norden’s core fleet of owned and long-term leased tanker and dry cargo vessels managed by the Asset Management business unit. NORDEN is one of the world’s largest operators of Supramax and Panamax dry cargo vessels carrying iron ore, coal, grain, bauxite, cement and slags as well as a fleet of 57 product tankers.
“With a demand outlook gradually returning to normal and a low order book, we believe it’s a good time to buy assets and secure competitively priced tonnage,” says Henrik Lykkegaard Madsen, Head of Asset Management. “Furthermore, the contracted vessels have been secured with the aim of trading the portfolio of bulk carriers within the prevailing market volatility to optimize our returns".
Earlier in June, Norden and Diamond S Shipping announced that they created a strategic partnership, DiaNor, to facilitate the commercial consolidation of the product tanker industry. Diamond S will initially contribute 28 medium-range product tankers, which will be marketed and operated through the Norient Product Pool.