December 10 - SafmarineMPV has confirmed that it has sold its existing fleet of five ships to Thorco Shipping.

On November 27, HLPFI reported that Thorco was acquiring the five 18,000 dwt modern tweendeckers, each equipped with three 80-tonne capacity cranes to replace some of the older tonnage in its fleet.

In confirming the sale of the five owned vessels, Jorg Knuttel, managing director of SafmarineMPV told HLPFI that the ships will be phased out and delivered to the new owner during the first quarter of 2016.

Knuttel added: "Prior to owning vessels, SafmarineMPV successfully operated chartered tonnage only for many years. Returning to this practice will increase our flexibility in today's market and we are currently working on chartering replacement tonnage."

One of the ships, Safmarine Sahel, is seen here loading three catamarans earlier this year in the port of Gijon, Spain for shipment to the port of Luanda, Angola.