Maersk Tankers, a subsidiary of Danish firm A.P. Moller-Maersk, has ordered nine medium-range tankers, underlining its commitment to the tanker business even though it no longer ships crude oil.
Maersk Tanker placed the $300 million order for the vessels, which will be able to carry refined products such as gasoline and diesel, from Samsung Heavy Industries’ Ningbo shipyard in China.
“The investment … is a clear indication of Maersk Tankers commitment to remain at the very top of the product tanker industry,” the shipping company said in a statement.
Maersk Tankers last year stopped transporting crude oil when it sold its 15 supertankers, known as Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), to Belgium’s Euronav.
The sale fuelled speculation that A.P. Moller-Maersk might leave the tanker business altogether.
The nine new vessels, whose flag states have yet to be determined, will join the Maersk Tankers fleet during 2017 and 2018, the company said on Friday.
Maersk Tankers also placed an order for eight tankers from the SungDong shipyard in South Korea last year and they are due to be delivered this year and next.
With 100 vessels Maersk Tankers is one of the world’s largest operator of product tankers.
(Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen; editing by David Clarke)