Shipowner Is Mothballing First New Tanker Since 1980s

A shipowner will mothball a newly built tanker for the first time since the 1980s as a glut of the ships erodes earnings.

The aframax tanker, capable of carrying about 600,000 barrels of crude, will be sent to a natural harbor in Malaysia, Carl Schou, Kuala Lumpur-based president of Wilhelmsen Ship Management, which will oversee the deactivation, said by phone and e-mail. He declined to identify the ship because the details are private.

The last time new tankers were delivered straight from shipyards to anchorages, a process known in the industry as lay up, was in the 1980s, with owners sending the vessels to fjords in Norway, Eleusis Bay in Greece and the waters off Malaysia and Sri Lanka, Hong Kong-based Charles de Trenck at Transport Trackers, an adviser on shipping and trade flows, said by e- mail.

The particular kind of mothballing for this ship is called warm lay-up, which normally removes vessels from trading for between three and four months, Schou said.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at

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