Stena Bulk Grows Sonangol Suezmax Pool
Over the last six months, Stena Bulk has expanded its fleet in the Sonangol Suezmax pool with the addition of six Suezmax tankers: SKS Skeena, Istanbul, Almi Galaxy, Almi Voyager and Almi Sky. The TC in fleet consists of modern tonnage of varying length and with different options.
“In what has generally speaking been a stable low market, we have recently seen opportunities to utilize our business model in the current market,” said Erik Hånell, president and CEO, Stena Bulk. “With our successful commercial management, we believe, despite continuing rather difficult conditions, that we can make a positive difference and have thus now chartered in six vessels.”
The Stena Bulk CEO continued, “We are in a good position to expand our pool to about 30 Suexmax tankers and expect to do so with the help of partners and chartered tonnage. We are continuously evaluating the market and acting accordingly.”
The Stena Sonangol Suezmax pool, which was established in 2005, currently consists of some 25 Suezmax tankers operated in the form of a joint venture owned on a 50-50 basis by Stena Bulk and the Angolan state-owned oil company Sonangol. Stena Bulk’s offices in Gothenburg, Houston and Singapore are responsible for operating and chartering of the vessels in the pool, which are deployed in the open spot market worldwide.
Of the about 25 tankers in the pool today, six are time chartered and three are under commercial management. The average age of all the vessels is seven years.
“We now have a relatively long history, when it comes to our joint pool, with a long-term partner. The pool arrangement has many advantages, not only logistic, but mostly, the biggest reason, which includes having a larger market position and, in general, an opportunity to spread the risks resulting from the fluctuations in a volatile market,” Hånell said. “Opportunities are as well arising from joint developments with a partner with shared views. Access to our global coverage with support and a high utilization rate due to our operational excellence are also important factors.”
“We have been extremely successful and are one of the leaders when it comes to earnings, both compared with the index and with competing pools and Suezmax fleets,” Hånell added.