Dry bulk shipping company Golden Ocean Group (GOGL) has reached a $291m deal for the purchase of six Newcastlemax vessels.

The 208,000 deadweight ton (dwt) vessels are all installed with exhaust gas cleaning systems or scrubbers.

GOGL will charter the purchased vessels back to their former owner for roughly 36 months at an average daily time charter equivalent rate of around $21,000 net.

The company will fund the current transaction through a new $233m credit facility, which is said to be secured by the newly-bought vessels as well as two unencumbered vessels.

Cash on hand will also be used for the latest acquisition.

Golden Ocean Management CEO Ulrik Andersen said: “This acquisition cements our position as the largest owner of modern Capesize vessels. It also increases our fleet’s fuel efficiency and reduces its emissions profile as we continue to make progress toward our 2030 emission-reduction target of 30%.

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“We have acted on what we see as a short-term weakness in asset prices to acquire high-quality assets with strong return profiles that will comply with all environmental regulations beyond 2030.

“We have structured the acquisition to manage short-term risk through profitable time charter contracts while increasing our long-term exposure aligning with our optimistic outlook.”

Over the last two years, GOGL generated aggregate net proceeds of around $124m by selling 11 older vessels.

The company believes that these proceeds are enough to finance the bulk of the expected equity needed for its ten Kamsarmax newbuilds, which are currently under construction, as well as the six newly-purchased vessels.