Shipping Corp in process of acquiring 8 large vessels: Govt

The state-owned firm plans to acquire 110 vessels by 2020 to augment its fleet at an estimated cost of Rs 27,668 crore.

"SCI has already floated separate tenders for acquisition of 2+2 very large crude carriers and four Karnsarmax Bulk Carriers. These tenders are in addition to the tenders floated for second hand/resale Supermax Bulk Carriers and container vessels," the government informed the panel.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, chaired by Sitaram Yechury, has asked the state-owned PSU to plan its activities to maximise profits at a time when the impact of the global recession is diminishing.

The panel noted that Rs 2,921.37 crore has been provided for vessels on firm orders during the current fiscal besides Rs 1,064 crore for new projects to acquire vessels and invest in joint ventures.

"The committee hopes that SCI would make all out efforts to utilise the amount optimally and implement its programmes to acquire more vessels without further loss of time," it said.

Earlier this month, Shipping Minister G K Vasan had said SCI planned to acquire 110 vessels of 5.21 million gross tonnage (GT) at an estimated cost of Rs 27,668 crore in the next 10 years, of which it is likely to place orders for 26 vessels by 2011-12.

He added that the acquisition of the vessels would take SCI's total tonnage to about 7.21 million GT by 2020.

SCI has placed orders for 36 vessels so far against the target of acquiring 62 vessels in the 11th Five-Year Plan, which includes the acquisition of one resale vessel.

Of these, five vessels have been delivered, while others are being built in different Indian, Chinese and South Korean shipyards, as per information.

SCI currently has a fleet of 78 vessels of different types, having a total 3.19 million GT and total carrying capacity of 5.61 million DWT (dead weight tonnage).

Gross tonnage is a unitless index related to a ship's overall internal volume and is calculated based on the moulded volume of all enclosed spaces of the ship while DWT is a measure of how much weight a ship is carrying or can safely carry.

During the first nine months of the ongoing fiscal, the company carried a total cargo of 23.08 million tonnes plus 1.27 lakh TEUs, the minister had said.

Twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) is a measure used for capacity in container transportation.

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