SCI to acquire 33 new vessels
Government-owned Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), the country’s largest shipping company, has drawn up a US$4 billion capex plan to augment its ageing fleet by 2012. Anticipating renewed demand from 2011, SCI now plans to place orders for 36 ships. The company had earlier put new acquisitions on the backburner pending a correction in shipbuilding prices.
According to informed sources, the shipping major is hoping to leverage the ongoing downturn in the industry which allows it to acquire second hand vessels at low prices. The planned new acquisitions are expected to modernise its fleet while simultaneously creating additional capacity in both the tanker and dry bulk cargo segment.
SCI’s current order book stands at 32 vessels of about 1.9 million DWT (dead weight tonnage — a measure of the weight a ship can carry). The total cost of 32 vessels is US$1.6 billion. The 36 new ships will cost another US$2.4 billion.