Monday, May 20, 2024

ESL’s ultramax on pace to dock in mid June


The recently swapped ultramax vessel is expected to dock its anchor mid this month at Djibouti, Ethiopia’s sea harbor hub, for the first time. The Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics (ESL) newly received huge vessel is currently on its voyage to Europe.
It can be recalled that the effort of ESL to swap its two tankers with a huge vessel was successful with the handing over to the state owned logistics enterprise transpiring on April 25 at a port in Shanghai, China.
According to Demissew Benti, Public Relation Head at ESL, the vessel called MV Abbay II hit the ground running with operations having commenced on May 12, with a voyage to South Korea.
“On its second trip, the biggest vessel ever to be owned by ESL set sail to transport cargo to Vietnam,” the Public Relation Head added.
As Demissew informs Capital, the vessel has now left the Vietnam Phu My Port with steel cargo to the Baltic Sea. Despite ESL not having a regular fleet to Europe, he cited that it has seldom trips when it has a charter cargo.
About two decades ago, the shipping enterprise had a line to Europe, but now its regular fleet flows to Asia.
ESL has taken cross trade business as one of the major source of revenue besides transporting cargo for Ethiopia. In the past and this budget year in particular, cross trade has become expansive and one of the major source of foreign currency for the company.
Recently, ESL disclosed that it has a target to expand its destination for its vessel while the logistics giant has currently 345 international ports destinations.
“We have a target to expand our destination ports to 375,” Demissew said.
The coming of the ultramax vessel is also stated as a key to expand its destination. The enterprise is also on the final stage to order brand new two ultramax vessels from a company in China. As per the deal, the new coming vessels will be a dry carrier with an ultramax type carrying capacity of over 63,000 DWT. In reference, Abbay II has a loading capacity of 65, 000 DWT.
Currently, the nine dry carriers that ESL owns are ‘handysize’ vessels with about 28,000 DWT.
ESL is using other ultramax vessels to transport bulk cargos like fertilizer, coal and wheat to Ethiopia.
“Our new vessel will carry huge bulk cargos like steel, wheat and fertilizer,” the Public Relation Head elaborated.
According to Demissew, Abbay II’s next destination will be Baltic Sea northern Europe with the steel cargo that is loaded at Vietnam.
“We expected that the vessel with 28 crew members will be at the berth in Djibouti on June 15, which will be the first time for the new vessel to come to ESL’s home port,” he said.
“The operation of Abbay II is very promising. It shows that we will attain the goal to expand our port destinations for Ethiopian flag carriers,” he explained, adding, “When we expand the capacity in terms of owning such kind of vessels we will be able to stretch.”
Experts said that the incoming big vessels shall support huge local cargos besides supporting the east African coast up to South Africa and the Indian Gulf, which has a gap on container feeder service.
The vessel that was owned by US company, with a German operator, and registered at Marshall Islands has been stated to be in good condition and was managed by good operator prior to its acquisition. Demissew clarified that if it was bought today, its market value would be at more than USD 28 million.
“Actually the vessel is possessed through the swap of Bahir Dar and Hawassa tanker vessels,” Demissew cited while explaining how the huge cost of purchase was evaded.
Abbay II is seven years old and is fairly a young carrier as experts on the sector explain.
In related development, the management of ESL celebrated the achievement of the long serving former CEO of ESL, Roba Megersa in a warm farewell ceremony held on June 2.

Read more