Despite slowdown Mercator charts fleet expansion
At a time when the shipping industry is still trying to come to terms with falling freight rates that have impacted both the dry and tanker segments, Mercator Lines, the country’s second largest private shipping company has announced plans to expand capacity.
The company has firmed up plans to acquire three gearless post Panamax bulk carriers totalling 2.77 lakh dead weight tonnage (DWT) on a charter basis at a cost of approximately Rs500 crore. While two of the vessels from the China-based New Yangzijiang Shipyard will remain with the company until 2014, the third from Sungdong Shipyard, South Korea has been chartered till 2020.
Mercator’s own fleet currently comprises 12 tankers with a combined capacity of 13.7 lakh DWT, 12 dry bulkers with a combined capacity of 8.98 lakh DWT, four dredgers with a combined capacity of 31,854 cubic metres (CBM) and a 350 feet oil jack-up rig. The existing capacity of the company’s dry bulk fleet is approximately 1.2 million DWT.