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China Navigation orders its first cement carrier for New Zealand trade

China Navigation orders its first cement carrier for New Zealand trade
The China Navigation Company (CNCo), wholly-owned by Swire Group, has ordered the company’s first self-discharging cement carrier on the back of a deal with a New Zealand cement manufacturer.

The 9,000-dwt vessel, named Aotearoa Chief, will be built at China’s Jinling Shipyard, specifically designed to operate on the New Zealand coast with a view to optimise supply chain efficiency, according to CNCo.

Swire Bulk Logistics, the industrial shipping division of CNCo, has entered into a long term partnership with New Zealand’s Golden Bay Cement (GBC), a trading division of Fletcher Building Limited, to build, own and operate the dedicated cement carrier.

The vessel is expected to commence operations in late 2016 and operate under the New Zealand flag, plying the country’s coast between the loading port of Portland and GBC’s distribution centres in Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, as well as expanded services to New Plymouth and Picton.

“This partnership (with GBC) reinforces CNCo’s commitment to developing New Zealand’s coastal shipping industry, and is critical in supporting the country’s infrastructural development,” said Chris Blake, country manager of CNCo.

In recent years, CNCo has invested in a modern, fuel efficient fleet of multipurpose liner vessels and bulk carriers to meet the demands of the New Zealand market.

So far, 17 vessels have been delivered over the past 18 months and another 23 are scheduled for delivery over the next two years, according to CNCo.