SCI takes delivery of another bulk carrier
Despite suffering a loss Shipping Corporation of India, the country’s national carrier continues its acquisition program having now taken delivery of a new building.
The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. (SCI) acquisition spree of new buildings continues. Just two days ago on 20 May 2013, it accepted delivery of a Kamsarmax bulk carrier, M. V. “Vishva Chetna”. This is the second vessel of the four Kamsarmax bulk carriers ordered by SCI with Jiangsu Eastern Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., China. Orders for these vessels were placed in September 2010. The first vessel being m.v. “Vishva Jyoti” was delivered on 18 December 2012.This news comes following the report of SCI having posted a loss of $ 13.64 million on the revenue of $ 187.82 million in the third quarter ended 31 December 2012. According to the spokesman of the company, SCI has resorted to restructuring and cost saving where ever possible. As a result of which the total expenditure, excluding depreciation, has come down. But the losses have continued to mount.
SCI had been predominantly operating smaller sized handymax and handysize bulk carriers in the past. With delivery of these larger Kamsarmax bulk carriers, having higher cargo carrying capacity, SCI would be increasing its presence in India’s import and export of dry bulk cargoes category. The vessels are suited for worldwide trading and can be alternatively deployed in cross trades depending on the opportunities available. These bulk carriers were ordered as part of replacement of SCI’s existing Daewoo series handymax bulk carriers which were built in 1986 / 87 and have been phased out from services.
SCI took delivery of 12 vessels last year and this is the first one for this fiscal. Besides, it disposed of five old vessels last year. As a result of this acquisition the average age of the fleet has come down to around 10 years. The addition of this vessel has helped SCI’s fleet strength to rise to 79 vessels touching 5.96 million dwt. Acquisition of this vessel is in line with SCI’s strategy of maintaining a modern and young fleet of vessels. The company still has 15 vessels on order.
M. V. “Vishva Chetna” has a gross tonnage of 44,864 tonnes and deadweight of 81,734 tonnes. The vessel is dually classed with Bureau Veritas (BV) and Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) and has been built to comply with the latest and most stringent international regulations.
In the offshore sector SCI has a fleet of 15 vessels of which 7 have been acquired in the eighties and are awaiting replacement. These vessels have been dedicatedly serving the oil exploration and production sector of India for the past 25 years. As a national carrier SCI has been aiming to increase its presence in the offshore sector and establish itself as an E & P logistic service provider.
India is one of the growth drivers for the world economy recording impressive GDP growth compared to the developed economies. Industrial and infrastructural development plays a major role to sustain this growth. As a national carrier, SCI has been aiming to increase its presence in India’s ever increasing dry bulk trade and strengthening the bulk carrier fleet would help SCI contribute to this growth.