Navibulgar Initiates Fleet Renewal Program

Friday, April 12, 2002
Navigation Maritime Bulgare (Navibulgar), the nationally-owned Bulgarian shipping company and the country's fourth largest business enterprise, has placed three tween-deckers on the sale and purchase market as part of its latest fleet renewal program. Last month the company invited tenders for the three 11,750 GT, Bulgarian-flag vessels in a new move to upgrade its fleet as it prepares for a possible privatization decision from the Bulgarian government. In a related development, Navibulgar announced its intention to invest in enhancing its fleet of over 50 bulk carriers, which are engaged in worldwide trading on the international charter market. Navibulgar owns and operates a diverse fleet of almost 100 ships, including container ships, chemical tankers and specialized rail ferries in addition to bulk carriers. The containerships trade between North Europe and the Mediterranean/Black Sea under the Bulcon brand, one of the market leaders. They were upgraded in the mid-1990s and are performing satisfactorily, according to Capt Gueno Guenov, Director General of Navibulgar. Similarly the chemical tankers, built in Japan in 1989, are "modern and economic ships, well suited to the trades in which they operate," stated Capt Guenov. Last year Navibulgar converted one of its Black Sea rail ferries through the addition of a new, side-opening access ramp, which has opened up additional port opportunities for the ship. The company is studying whether growing cargo flows will demand conversion of a sister vessel to permit a four-ship service in the region.

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