Norwegian tanker shipping heavyweight Frontline is poised to have exhaust gas cleaning systems installed on over half of its fleet of over 70 ships.

The company’s owned fleet included 37 scrubber-fitted vessels at the end of the third quarter of 2022, including 15 VLCCs, 19 Suezmax tankers and three LR2/Aframax tankers. In October 2022, the company completed scrubber installations on one additional owned VLCC and one additional owned LR2/Aframax tanker.

Frontline said that additional scrubber installations are planned on two owned VLCCs, one in 2022 and one in 2023.

“Following these scrubber installations and including the three scrubber-fitted vessels, one delivered and two to be delivered, under our newbuilding program, 65% of our fleet will have scrubbers installed,” Frontline said.

In October, the company took delivery of the scrubber-fitted VLCC, Front Gaula, from Hyundai Heavy Industries and the tanker owner also has two more scrubber-fitted VLCCs under construction which are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2023.

Updating on its tie-up with Euronav, Frontline said that it was in the process of relocating from Bermuda to Cyprus, prior to the launching of the tender offer in the first quarter of 2023.

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A merger will be pursued as soon as possible following the tender offer, with the aim then being to submit the merger to the Frontline and Euronav shareholders’ meetings. In the meantime, the parties will pursue all corporate and other steps necessary for the combination,” the company said.

The company reported a net income of $154.4 million and adjusted net income of $82.9 million for the third quarter of 2022.

The market is virtually firing on all cylinders, and Frontline’s efficient operations, modern fleet and transparent business model again shows how quickly a change in market fundamentals is reflected in its cash generation and shareholder returns,” Lars H. Barstad, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Management AS, said.

“We outperformed most of our competitors in terms of higher earnings and lower costs in the third quarter, and with nearly all of our vessels spot exposed, Frontline will continue to capture value as this cycle unfolds. Irrespective of near-term volatility on the demand side, the supply side remains constrained with an aging global tanker fleet and historically low orderbook. This forms the basis for our positive outlook for a prolonged strong cycle in the tanker market, and we remain committed to continue returning value to our shareholders.”

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