Nordic American Tanker Shipping has signed a $130m preliminary agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries to build two Suezmax tankers.

The vessels, of 158,000dwt, are scheduled for delivery in the third and fourth quarters of 2011.

The newbuilds are expected to increase Nordic’s fleet to 20 double-hull Suezmax tankers by the end of 2011, an increase of 67% over a period of 36 months.

Nordic expects to sign the definitive contract with Samsung by early May.