A diesel-laden newbuild VLCC that recently arrived in the Mediterranean has begun discharging its cargo via ship-to-ship (STS) transfer offshore Malta, Vortexa data show.
The VLCC New Journeyloaded up its cargo during September from the Middle East. Proceeding into the Mediterranean in early November, it transferred around 40,000 mt of diesel to handymax Maersk Cebu on 10 November — which is now heading to the French port of Donges with an ETA of 18 November.
Prior to this, it had also discharged around 40,000 mt of diesel offshore Mozambique onto handymax tanker UACC Ras Laffan in mid-October.
Market participants say New Journey will likely discharge more diesel onto other tankers offshore Malta in the coming days, with some 160,000 mt of diesel still estimated to be on board.
Meanwhile another diesel-laden newbuild VLCC — Nissos Kythnos — is currently declaring Gibraltar as its next destination. The VLCC could reach the Mediterranean region by mid-December if she does not discharge any cargo in west Africa. Nissos Kythnos loaded up in South Korea and then Malaysia during October.
More than 5.5mn mt of diesel has loaded onto newbuild VLCCs so far in 2019, more than triple the volume seen loading in 2018, according to Vortexa data.