Chairman of Shandong Shipping Corp and Vice President of Shandong Marine Group, Yu Bing, gave an exclusive interview to Seatrade Maritime News as the company took delivery of the first of eight tankers for a charter deal with Shell, and signed a letter of intent for the construction of a further 10 vessels.
Yu outlined Shandong’s journey to reaching its initial target of operating over 30 tankers:
“In the 10 years since Shandong Marine Group’s establishment, we have been committed to developing Shandong as a strong maritime province. The group has a structure comprising modern marine transport and logistics, clean energy, modern fisheries, inland water transportation investment and operation, marine financial services, etc.
“The group has been developed to be a comprehensive marine industry player with significant influence in domestic and international market. Oil and chemical product transportation is one of our businesses which has achieved its target. Shandong Shipping Tanker Company will not just focus on fleet capacity expansion, we will strive to become a comprehensive oil and chemical products transportation service provider with strong competitiveness, excellent performance and a well-recognised and respected brand.”
The rise of Shandong Shipping Tanker Company in its five-year history has been a focus on customers, said Yu.
“We have implemented a major customer strategy, establishing co-operation with world-class enterprises such as Shell. We gain revenue stability from our good reputation and partnerships, and at the same time it encourages us to improve our service capability.
“Meanwhile, we insist on innovation in the areas of business model, technology and the asset-light model. We believe innovation is the primary driving force for our company’s development. More importantly, we are not content to be a traditional, typical shipowner; we expect to redefine thinking around the shipping industry, especially from a financial perspective.”
Shandong’s investment in the tanker market comes at a difficult time for the sector, but Yu is confident the time was right.
“Since last year, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly hurt the world economy, especially in demand for and transportation of oil and chemical products. With the improvements in anti-virus measures and the global vaccination programme, I’m confident of a global economic recovery, demand will increase from natural, organic growth.
“In the long term, the widespread use of new materials worldwide will bring a comparatively big growth in demand for oil and chemical products transportation. We are engaged in providing optimised transportation solutions for the products and materials that will improve our lives in the future. That’s the reason we chose the sector of oil and chemical products transportation.”
New Times Shipbuilding both delivered the first of the series of vessels for Shell and received the LOI for 10 more tankers for Shandong, a partnership that is working well for the companies, said Yu.
“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Times Shipbuilding has been working closely with us to ensure ship quality and delivery schedule for multiple vessels, which is a difficult task which required a great deal of co-operation.
“We recognise New Times Shipbuilding’s professional dedication and technical capability throughout this co-operation, and we believe we can achieve great things together through future co-operation.”
Perhaps the biggest question facing shipowners is how to build ships today that will be fit for purpose in an increasingly decarbonising society, an area Yu says Shandong is actively involved in.
“China is very ambitious in its targets to reduce carbon emissions, with a target of peak carbon emissions by 2030, and carbon neutrality by 2060, if I remember correctly.
“Shandong Marine Group has been actively participating in global environment protection and strongly promoting low carbon emissions in the development of each of its business sectors. We are insisting on technological innovation, implementing various measures such as ship hull design optimisation, low speed propellers, energy saving Kort nozzles, as well as the exploration of LNG dual fuel, air lubrication, wind propulsion, LED illumination, and new fuels such as ammonia and biomethane, which will be partially used in the newbuildings to realise energy savings and emission reductions.
“We are pleased to apply new environment friendly technologies and are pioneers for green shipping industry development.”
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