New Delhi, Aug 14: The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), which has been awarded the 'Navaratna' status recently, has signed an MoU with South Korean STX shipyard for four panamax bulk carriers. These vessels would be higher capacity in the panamax size range with 80,655 DWT each compared to the conventional vessels of 75,000 DWT, enabling the SCI to carry more cargo. Chairman and Managing Director S Hajara said SCI has embarked upon a major fleet acquisition plan for buying 32 vessels valued at Rs 7,900 crore.
SCI plans to place orders for another 42 vessels in the next 3-4 years, he added. The company presently has 20 bulk carriers in its fleet, of which some would be due for scrapping soon.
The vessels ordered now would be delivered to SCI during 2012 and would thus enable the company to partly replace some of the vintage handymix bulk carrier tonnage and enhance SCI's exposure in the larger segment of Panamax trade.
SCI has further plans to augment its bulk carrier fleet by ordering capesize bulk carriers in the near future.
This move would further strengthen its position as a dominant player in the Indian shipping sector and also help the company to emerge as a strong player in the bulk segment, Mr Hajara said.