Connecticut-based pool operator adds latest in ongoing growth plans for aframax market.
Penfield Marine is growing its aframax pool with the latest addition from Piraeus-based Phoenix Energy Navigation.
The 104,707-dwt Phoenix Alpha (built 2003) will become the seventh in Penfield’s aframax pool. Phoenix will be Penfield’s fourth partner in that segment.
Chief executive Tim Brennan says 'We are pleased to have Phoenix join our pool. We've been in discussions for a quite a while and we are happy with the result.'
The company has been building its bench this year, but mostly on the smaller tankers. Its panamax tanker pool now sits at 28 ships and 13 pool partners.
Brennan says there’s a lot of interest in growing its aframax pool. Penfield is in talks with other owners for potential additions in the coming quarters
“Our goal is more aframax tankers, but to grow the pool slowly,” Brennan said. “We’re happy with the size of the panamax pool. But we would like to see similar growth in the aframax segment.”
Unlike the bigger ships, the aframax market is going into the fourth quarter in a slump, with the Baltic Exchange’s aframax time charter index down almost 50% from its October peak. But Penfield’s mix of spot and contract-of-affreightment business should keep its pool busy, Brennan said.
“This year has been challenging and most owners expect 2018 to be challenging,” Brennan said. “But this is the kind of market they pay us for.”