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Intership assists at dawn of another Chinese yard

Intership assists at dawn of another Chinese yard

Shanghai: Less than 10 years after becoming New Century's first overseas customer, Cyprus-based Intership Navigation (ISN) is preparing to take the debut export delivery from another Chinese yard, Shandong Huanghai. A series of 18 feeder vessels of 629teu is due to begin delivering later this month, later followed by six 25,000dwt multipurpose vessels.

Shandong Huanghai is located in Shidao, 250km north east of Quingdao, adjacent to Rongcheng Shipbuilding, where ISN has four 4,000dwt coasters under construction. It is a former fishing boat yard, earmarked for expansion by the Chinese authorities, which ISN has helped make the step up to cargo vessels.

ISN boss Capt Eugen Adami explains to Seatrade Asia Online how his company had become an unintentional victim of New Century's success after the Cyprus-based shipmanager-cum-operator had opened the former Jing Jiang yard's overseas account in 1997. ISN went on to order a total 15 vessels at New Century - a mix of 17,800dwt multipurposes and 37,5000dwt lakers - but "the yard became so big it started to build only panamax, Aframax, suezmax and even VLCC vessels," he relates, "so together with New Century we started to look for a replacement yard for (smaller) ISN tonnage."

With the other newbuild project underway at Rongcheng, neighbouring Shandong Huanghai became an obvious candidate. ISN suggested the yard expand it existing 8,000dwt slipway, which it duly did with two ramps capable of each handling 30,000dwt vessels, and New Century assisted with technical support. ISN's feeder vessels were contracted in February 2006, the multipurposes in March 2006.

With its debut export delivery only days away, it remains to be seen how long Shandong Huanghai will be content building the relatively modest-sized tonnage with which ISN, linked to the Hartmann Group in Germany, has carved out such a successful niche for itself.  [20/12/06]

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