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Mercator locks six-year charter for post-panamax

Mercator locks six-year charter for post-panamax

Singapore: Indian-owned dry bulk firm Mercator Lines has contracted a post-panamax vessel for about six years as it seeks to lock a substantial part of its fleet capacity on long-term business.

The Singapore-listed firm expects the contract to bring in revenues of about $47m over the time charter period of 71-74 months, taking into account a daily hire rate of $21,400 a day. The 2010-built 93,200 dwt vessel is acquired by Chitra Prem, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mercator. With this acquisition, Mercator would operate a fleet of 17 dry bulk vessels ??" 14 owned and three chartered ??" and one VLOC with an aggregate capacity of around 1.5 million dwt.

"With the purchase of this vessel, we have expanded by three vessels in 2010-11 with a capital expenditure of $105.5m effectively using our strong cash accruals," said Shalabh Mittal, managing director and ceo of Mercator. "Given the long term deployment for the new vessel in the fleet we would recover a major portion of our investment during the six-year charter." [26/01/11]