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SCI may up stake in LNG carrier jv and enter shipbuilding

SCI may up stake in LNG carrier jv and enter shipbuilding

Mumbai: The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has announced that it is considering the possibility of increasing its stake in its LNG carrier joint venture with MOL, NYK Line and K-Line to 42.6% from its current 28% stake. 'We have the option open to us as part of our contract with the Japanese Lines,' SCI chairman and md Sabyasachi Hajara (pictured) told SeatradeAsia-online exclusively.

'We can choose to increase our stake in the two LNG vessels when their manning management is transferred to us in 2008 and 2009 respectively. We will take the decision closer to the time, but I can say that we are definitely considering it,' he said. The two vessels are contracted to supply gas to Petronet's Dahej project.

SCI is also in talks with a number of international companies to form a joint venture shipbuilding project. 'We have expressed our interest to a number of world leaders, particularly in Korea to form a joint venture for a shipyard in India,' says Hajara. 'We are interested in being a fully fledged player in all maritime industries, and since shipbuilding is doing so well around the world, there is no reason stopping us from being involved.'

'It would be a backward integrations for us,' says the SCI md who has recently ordered six newbuilds (four aframax vessels and two LR product tankers) from Hyundai Heavy Industries for delivery between 2010-2011.

The newbuilds raise SCI's order book to 18 vessels, all of which will join it's current fleet of 79 vessels by 2011.  [16/08/07]