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Essar berths first mini-cape bulk carrier in India - 2012-02-20

In what is stated to be the first of its kind mini-cape bulk carrier, Essar Shipping Ltd (ESL) on Saturday announced the berthing of MV Kamlesh at Hazira Port near Surat in Gujarat.

On its maiden voyage, MV Kamlesh, which carried one lakh tonne of coal from Australia for Essar Steel, is the first vessel in a series of six that ESL will induct into its fleet over the next five months. This is part of its $1-billion capex to acquire 12 vessels and two jack-up rigs, the company said here.

With this, the total tonnage of the company would go up from 1.71 mt to 2.6 mt, making ESL among the top two private sector shipping companies in the country, with the largest fleet of capesizes. With MV Kamlesh, ESL has also created a new segment of 1,05,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT). This is line with the company's strategy to strengthen its bulk carrier fleet with modern vessels.

These vessels would carry flexible quantities of coal and iron ore parcels to meet the growing cargo requirements of power, steel and other core industries in the country. On the occasion of berthing of the vessel, Mr A.R. Ramakrishnan Managing Director, ESL, said such vessels are ideally suited to Indian ports as they are uniquely designed with shallow draft and have the capacity to carry more cargo.

These double-bottom mini-cape vessels are built conforming to the standards of the American Bureau of Shipping. It will incorporate futuristic design and the latest technology. The ships will be environment-friendly and comply with the latest and the most stringent IMO regulations and capable of meeting global trading requirements.

The six vessels, built at STX Shipyard, Dalian, are specially designed shallow-draft vessels that will provide substantially higher cargo carrying capacity. Essar Shipping Ltd has a diversified fleet of 25 vessels, including VLCCs, capesizes, supramaxes, mini-bulk carriers and tugs. The company has placed orders for 12 new ships, which are expected to join the fleet over the next 24 months. A sizeable part of the capacity is deployed on long-term contracts.

Source: Hindu Business Line