Four VLCC's Ordered from South Korea by DHT

Large oil tanker at sea
Updated Published

DHT Holdings, a leading tanker company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has finalized contracts for the construction of four very large crude carriers (VLCCs) in South Korea, with deliveries scheduled from April to December 2026.

The shipbuilding tasks are divided between Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and Hanwha Ocean, both located in South Korea, with an average expenditure of $128.5 million per vessel. Additionally, the agreements include options for four more vessels to be delivered in the first half of 2027.

These new vessels will conform to the latest Super Eco-design standards, boasting a carrying capacity of approximately 320,000 dwt. They will be equipped with exhaust gas cleaning systems, comply with Tier III regulations, and feature class-ready notations for alternative fuels.

DHT has stated that the financing for this endeavor will not involve the issuance of new capital but will be covered through operational cash flows, existing liquidity, and new mortgage debt arrangements.

Svein Moxnes Harfjeld, the president and CEO of DHT, remarked, “We have secured very early and competitive delivery slots to build the most efficient ships and of the highest quality the market has to offer.”

With a current fleet of 24 vessels, DHT highlighted that the existing order book for new VLCCs represents less than 3% of the current global fleet, indicating that additional VLCC orders can only be fulfilled from 2027 onwards due to competing demands for shipyard slots from various shipping sectors.

Furthermore, DHT pointed out the aging nature of the VLCC fleet, with nearly half expected to surpass 15 years of age by the end of 2026, and over 20% to exceed 20 years. The company anticipates that around 160 VLCCs, averaging 21 years old, will face limited commercial prospects in compliant markets and trading environments.