Fairstar plans to expand fleet

07 Jun 2010

Fairstar Heavy Transport has entered into a contract with Guangzhou Shipyards International (GSI), part of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, to build two 50,000 dwt open stern, semi-submersible vessels at a fixed cost of $101,888,000 per ship.

The newbuildings are based on a design approved by Det Norske Veritas (DNV). COSCO has already ordered two of these vessels from GSI in 2008. The first is on schedule to be delivered in December of this year while the second will be delivered in 2011.

Willem Out, managing director fleet, summarizes the advantages of the Fairstar expansion strategy by pointing out: “GSI is one of the most reliable and reputable ship building companies in China. They have more experience building semi-submersible ships than anyone else in the world. GSI will have built two of these ships for COSCO before delivering our first vessel in April 2012. The advantages of using a design already approved by DNV as well as the benefits of the learning curve experienced by GSI as they build the first two ships for COSCO, gives us a lot of confidence that we can deliver these ships to the market on time and on budget. The size, speed and performance of these two vessels, named Forte and Finesse, are ideal for the widest range of high value, ultra-heavy cargoes.”

According to Philip Adkins, ceo of Fairstar, there is a clear over-supply of very old, high maintenance, converted oil tankers that entered the market during the last three years. The day rates for this type of ship have collapsed and they now operate in the most un-profitable segment of the industry. Multi-billion dollar energy infrastructure projects will provide the most stable and profitable opportunity for the marine heavy transport industry in the next three to five years and there will be a shortage of purpose built, open stern, semi-submersible ships. Adkins also believes that projects will increase in complexity, safety standards will rise, and accountability to clients to perform flawlessly will increase the barriers of entry into the most profitable segment of the marine heavy transport industry.

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