KOTC originally planned to award two separate contracts for the vessels. In February it invited bids for the LPG tanker deal from HHI, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Corporation, also of South Korea, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation, both of Japan. HHI, Daewoo, MHI, Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industriesand Japan’s Universal Corporationwere invited to bid for the VLCC contract.

On 17 August, KOTC signed an estimated $182 million deal with Daewoo for the supply of three product carriers. Two of the vessels will have capacity of 70,000 tonnes. The third will have capacity of about 115,000 tonnes.

The orders are part of a major KOTC acquisition programme to modernise its fleet. The company owns and operates 31 crude, product and gas carriers with total capacity of 4 million tonnes (MEED 6:2:04).