SCI May Turn to Chinese Shipyards

Thursday, January 04, 2007
Shipping Corporation of India mayturn to Chinese shipyards for acquisitions of its future tonnage covering tankers, tugs and bulk carriers. The major shipbuilders, mostly located in Korea, are, it is learnt, unable to accept new orders for deliveries in the next few years as their order books are full for the foreseeable future. Besides, the Korean yards have stopped building bulk carriers. SCI, it might be noted, has already placed orders with three Korean yards for acquisitions of various types of vessels two 4,400-TEU container vessels with Hyundai, six large range product tankers with STX and two VLCCs with Daewoo. SCI Forbes Ltd, which is SCI's joint venture with Shapoorji Pallonji group, too has placed orders with INP Heavy Industries, a Korean yard, for acquiring four chemical tankers.

It might be noted that for the past few years SCI has been having association with the Chinese yards, which are visited by its vessels for dry-docking and repairing purposes. Only recently, did SCI send one of its crude tankers, Maharishi Karve (1,05,000 dwt), to the Cosco yard in Guangzhou for its conversion into double-hull from the present single hull. Two other tankers, though of much smaller sizes, it is learnt, might also be sent to the Chinese yards for the same purpose. Interesting transition

The SCI teams are believed to have already visited China but no firm decision has yet been taken in regard to placing of orders for new acquisitions. The types of vessels being considered for acquisition from the Chinese yards include two MR (medium range) crude tankers (45,000 dwt), six Super Handymax (55,000 dwt) and two Capesize bulk carriers (1,70,000 dwt) bulk carriers and five anchor handling tugs to facilitate offshore operations of the oil companies. The total cost of these vessels is estimated at $500 million. SCI, it is learnt, has already received the government approvals for acquisitions of these vessels.

While the designs are all of international standards, it is the craftsmanship that makes the difference. Source: Business Line

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