Euronav orders 4th ammonia-ready VLCC, charters out Suezmax duo as it exits transformative quarter

Belgian tanker major Euronav has placed an order for an additional dual-fuel ammonia-ready Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) at Qingdao Beihai shipyard in China, confirming previous broker reports on the deal.

Image credit Euronav

The order was placed in January 2024. Combined with the three orders announced in 2023, the latest contract brings the total to four ammonia-ready VLCCs on order at Qingdao Beihai. The latest VLCC is slated for delivery in 2027.

In addition to the VLCC orders, Euronav has disclosed the long-term time chartering of two newbuilding ice-classed Suezmax vessels that are being built at Daehan Shipbuilding to American-based downstream petroleum company Valero. Delivery of the duo is expected in April/May 2026, aligning with the commencement of each time charter contract.

As part of Euronav’s fleet optimization strategy, the company has sold the 2003-built ULCC Oceania. The move comes in response to new regulations such as the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), which became effective in 2023. This transaction generated a capital gain of $34.8 million in Q1/2024. The debt-free Oceania was delivered to the new owner on January 15, 2024, Euronav said.

The latest fleet optimization developments are being announced as Euronav enters a new chapter in its transformation following the split with Frontline and the share acquisition by CMB, which now owns more than 53% of the company.

Frontline, on the other hand, departed with a massive chunk of Euronav’s fleet comprising 24 ECO VLCCs.

Based on the latest update, 23 VLCCs have been sold and delivered to Frontline. The final one, Camus, is expected to be delivered in March. Euronav expects that the total capital gain from the sale will be approximately $374.2 million.

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The fourth quarter of 2023 has been a transformative one for Euronav. A solution for the deadlock with Frontline was found, CMB solidified its position as anchor shareholder and the CMB.TECH transaction was announced,” Alexander Saverys, CEO of Euronav said.

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We have also concluded the sale and delivery of 23 VLCCs to Frontline, with only one remaining to be delivered. Euronav is quickly gearing up to become the reference in sustainable shipping.”

For Q4 2023, Euronav reported a net gain of $410.9 million. Proportionate EBITDA for the same period amounted to $ 477.7 million.