In the recent maritime developments, two aframax tankers under the control of discreet tanker managers in Dubai have been reported as sold for recycling. These sales were part of a larger trend involving five ships, either purchased by cash buyers or, in the case of an MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co container ship, directly acquired by a Hong Kong Convention-certified recycling facility in Alang.
The first vessel, the 106,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) crude carrier Bradley, built in 1999 and managed by Global Tech Marine Services in Dubai, was sold in Singapore for $8.2 million on an as-is basis at a rate of $500 per light displacement ton (ldt). S&P Global data indicates that Bradley has been owned by the BVI-registered single-ship entity Hallbar Ltd since August 2021. Interestingly, this ship has undergone several name and ownership changes, along with five different managers, since its sale by a Sovcomflot offshoot in December 2018.
The second aframax tanker, the 105,000-dwt Gulf Venture, also built in 1999, was sold for $8.4 million under similar terms in Singapore. Notably, there was confusion regarding its identity, as it was not found in shipping registers under the name Gulf Venture. However, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) number for Gulf Venture on Marine Traffic matched that of the tanker Leviathan, last owned by Leviathan Shipping Corp in the Marshall Islands and managed by Breeze Marine Services in Dubai. The specifications for Gulf Venture matched those of Leviathan when it was put up for recycling.
The fate of these ships, particularly whether Leviathan transitioned to new owners and managers upon its renaming to Gulf Venture, remains uncertain. Since its sale by a Norwegian investment fund in 2019, Leviathan has undergone multiple changes in ownership, name, and management.
Industry insiders speculate that both Bradley and Gulf Venture will be recycled in India, a market currently leading in terms of pricing and financing options compared to neighboring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Efforts to contact Global Tech Marine and Breeze Marine proved futile, as the provided phone numbers were unresponsive.
Additionally, it has been confirmed that MSC’s 2,078 twenty-foot equivalent unit (teu) container ship, MSC Jasmine, built in 1988, is en route to a Hong Kong Convention-certified recycling facility in Alang. The ship was sold for $8.3 million, including 650 tons of remaining bunker fuel.
Cash buyers have reportedly acquired the panamax bulker Tycoon, owned by Piraeus-based Delek Transport, for $7.2 million. This deal includes the option to recycle the ship in either India or Pakistan. Another panamax bulker, Cosco Shipping’s 63,000-dwt Ya Tai 1, built in 1995, was sold in Guangzhou for $4.9 million on an as-is basis at a rate of $475 per ldt. As of now, no specific recycling destination has been determined for Ya Tai 1.
According to GMS’s latest market report, Indian recyclers are offering approximately $20 more per ldt than Pakistan and $60 more per ldt than Bangladesh. These price differentials are expected to persist in the coming weeks, according to industry experts.