US-based Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) has signed binding contracts with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Company (HMD) for the construction of two tankers.

The 50,000dwt class product chemical tankers are expected to be delivered by the second half of next year.

To be built at HMD’s yard in Ulsan, South Korea, the vessels will be developed to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13 Tier III standards that seek to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions within Emission Control Areas.

Each of the vessels will also be equipped with exhaust gas cleaning systems to meet the standards of MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 standards on sulphur oxide emissions.

The tankers will operate under the US flag in trades served by OSG’s existing vessels.

“OSG is committed to maintaining a leading presence in the US Flag petroleum transportation sector.”

Overseas Shipholding Group president and CEO Sam Norton said: “OSG is committed to maintaining a leading presence in the US Flag petroleum transportation sector.

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“Our initiative to pursue construction of modern, efficient and environmentally responsible vessels sends a strong signal to our customers, our stockholders and our employees that we are confident in achieving our commitment and that we have the resources and unique skill sets to enable us to do so.”

OSG primarily provides energy transportation services for crude oil and petroleum products across the US.

The company operates a fleet of 23 US flagged vessels, including seven articulated tug barges (ATBs) and two lightering ATBs, as well as three shuttle, nine medium range (MR) and two non-Jones Act MR tankers.