State owned Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. (SCI) took delivery of a Long Range-I (LR-I) Product Tanker, M.T. Swarna Sindhu, on 23rd July, 2010 raising the number of tankers in its fleet to 41 and the company’s total fleet strength to 74 vessels. M.T. Swarna Sindhu is SCI’s first in the series of six LR-I size Product Tankers which are being constructed for it at the world renowned STX Shipyard based in Korea. Orders for these vessels were placed in October 2006. According to informed sources in the company the delivery of the balance five LR-I product tankers from the shipyard are scheduled within October 2010.
SCI, country’s largest shipping company, has been on an acquisition spree with focus on bolstering its tanker fleet. Energy transportation has continued to remain the core business segment for SCI and it already own more than 50% of the country’s tanker fleet. A spokesman of the company said, “Being energy starved, India has to increasingly depend on imports to meet it galloping needs. The second fastest growing economy, India now imports 75% of the crude requirements and in the coming years this is set to spiral upwards.”
M.T. Swarna Sindhu has a gross tonnage of 42,845 tonnes and deadweight of 73,368 tonnes at scantling draft. According to the company the vessel has been classed with the Lloyds Register of Shipping and the Indian Register of Shipping and has been built to comply with the latest and most stringent international regulations. The ship also complies with the requirements of “Green Passport” notation, a safe and environmentally sound approach from building stage to recycling.
Earlier this year, the company had taken delivery of two Medium Range Product Tankers, M.T.. Swarna Mala and M.T.. Swarna Pushp. The acquisition was effected on 25th January and 27th January 2010 respectively. M.T. Swarna Mala was the first ever resale vessel acquired by SCI. “Though it was being built for another ship owner at the STX ship yard of South Korea, SCI finalized the purchase deal with the original owner and took delivery of the vessel directly from the shipyard,” informed the spokesman.
The company’s tanker fleet comprises of 36 crude and oil tankers and 5 Chemical/Product and LPG. Acquisition of new buildings is in line with SCI’s strategy of maintaining a modern and young fleet of vessels. The Company has 29 vessels on order at present and 10 of these are slated for delivery during 2010.