Simatech spends US$150m on first boxships contract
Simatech Shipping has inked its first containership order after eight years for up to four 4,350-TEU wide beam boxships with China's Taizhou Kouan Shipbuilding. The deal with the privately-owned yard marks a shift into a larger size of boxship for Simatech.
The deal is for two firm orders and two optional vessels for delivery from the second half of 2015.
Simatech chairman and chief executive Mohammad Maghami says the ships will be used in its existing China-India Services. “The saving in bunker consumption was the main reason for choosing this new design ships despite the good number of post-panamax ships that are available in the market,” he said.
The growth of Simatech ‘s owned fleet, which now comprises 10 vessels from 1,200 TEU, reflects an aggressive regional expansion. Simatech is also hooking up with Evergreen and NYK to start a new service linking India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The weekly run will use four 1,700-teu vessels, including the 1,740-teu Hansa Nordburg (built 2002) and 1,608-teu Eleni I (built 1996). This pair has been chartered for five months at between US$6,700 and US$7,250 per day.
Simatech surpassed the one million teu mark last year and is expanding its operation on the east coast of Africa as well. It is preparing to deploy a second feeder vessel on its Jebel Ali-Mogadishu feeder service launched earlier this year “to support the further development of the Somalian economy”.
Simatech is also developing a modern container terminal in Mogadishu and plans to set up a merchant marine academy in the Somalian Capital to train seafarers.