GE Shipping To Acquire VLCC, Aframax Tankers

Mumbai, Sept 18: | Updated: Sep 19 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Great Eastern (GE) Shipping has contracted to acquire a 1990 built very large crude carrier (VLCC) of DWT 2,61,167 along with two aframax tankers (both 1987 built) of DWT 98,214 and 96,967. This will be the first VLCC under an Indian flag after Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) scrapped its VLCC a few years back.

Though company officials declined to comment on the acquisition costs, ship-brokers said that the VLCC would be in the range of around $26 million, while the two aframax tankers would be in the region of $11-12 million each. The vessels will be delivered to the company by November 2003, a GE Shipping release said. The acquisition of old tonnage is part of the strategy adopted by the company to hold two class of assets. The company had earlier enhanced its tanker fleet with the acquisition of a 1985 built 95,007 dwt Aframax crude carrier now named Jag Leena.

According to analysts, the newly built vessels should cater to the developed countries including the US and the EU, while the old vessels should be deployed in the Indian market.

EU has decided to phase-out all single-hull tankers by 2010 from European waters ahead of the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) deadline of 2015. The company will, however, be able to deploy its new acquired VLCC in the EU, provided it carries crude above 25.7 API a norm for the type of crude set by the American Petroleum Institute, company officials said.

The acquisition would increase the tanker tonnage by 36 per cent and the shipping tonnage by 30 per cent.

The companys existing fleet comprises 31 ships aggregating 1.54 million DWT and 30 offshore unit. On delivery of the above three vessels, the tonnage will go up to 1.99 million DWT, the release said.