STOLT Tankers has ordered six new 38,000 DWT tankers from China’s Wuhu Shipyard, with an option for six more newbuilds in the future.

Stolt Tankers, a subsidiary of Stolt-Nielsen, operates a fleet of chemical parcel tankers for bulk-liquid chemicals, edible oils, acids and clean petroleum products.

The six new stainless steel parcel tankers are designed with a modern engines, hull form optimisation, a range of energy savings devices and shore power connection.

The new vessels are designed to be converted for future battery and methanol propulsion. They would also have 30 stainless steel cargo tank segregations.

All six vessels are due for delivery between 2026 and 2028.

“Following our well-timed acquisitions of 10 secondhand ships since 2021, now is the right time to invest in newbuildings,” Stolt Nielsen CEO Udo Lange said.

“This deal positions Stolt Tankers for the future by improving flexibility and maintaining our fleet size as we retire older ships from our network between 2026 and 2030.”

Mr Lange said the deal also reflects the company’s strategy to add modern, fuel-efficient ships to the fleet.

“Not only will these new ships help Stolt Tankers in its ambition to reduce its carbon intensity by 50% (relative to the 2008 baseline) by 2030, but they will also help reduce customers’ Scope 3 emissions,” he said.

“These newbuildings put our strong balance sheet and cash flow generation to work to deliver sustainable shareholder returns while maintaining our position as the world’s largest operator of chemical tankers.”

There are currently 166 ships in the Stolt Tankers fleet, according to the company’s website, with a total deadweight tonnage of more than three million DWT.