Essar Shipping Limited acquires a Panamax vessel of 74,005 DWT
Essar Shipping Limited (ESL), one of India’s leading shipping companies, has added a Panamax vessel of 74,005 Deadweight Tonnage (DWT) to its fleet of vessels. With this new induction, Essar Shipping now has a fleet of 14 vessels that include VLCCs, Capesizes, Mini-capes, Panamax, Supramaxes and Handysize bulk carriers. Essar Shipping’s total DWT capacity now stands at 1.6 million and it’s average fleet age has fallen to 12 years from erstwhile 13.5 years.
This 2000-built Panamax bulk carrier is rechristened ‘MV Mahavir’ and will be deployed for transporting pellets, coal and limestone from Essar Steel’s pellet plant in Paradip to the steel plant in Hazira.
Commenting on the acquisition, Ranjit Singh, Executive Director & CEO, Essar shipping, said, “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to find cargo before acquisition to ensure full utilization of the vessel. This is a right fit to our fleet given the requirement of our customers. Further, last month Essar Shipping de-commissioned, MV Chandi Prasad who sailed for 28 years and MV Mahavir is a perfect replacement.”
In FY2016-17, ESL reported 22% growth in cargo handling, whereas its capacity utilisation grew to 94% from 80%. The Baltic Dry Index, a key indicator of freight rates, has also gone up by four times—from an all-time low of 290 (in February 2016) to a high of 1,300 (in March 2017).