Rumor has it that China is pushing forward with a plan of revitalizing its struggling shipbuilding industry by injecting a major order of 50 VLCCs. As reported by the Associated Press citing China’s 21st Century Business Herald, a group of state-owned Chinese shipping companies, including China Shipping Group, Dalian Ocean Shipping Co. and China Merchants Group, have placed a USD 4.5 billion order for as many as 50 supertankers.
The announcement, if exercised, would mean adding 100 million barrels of capacity to the global oil market, which is experiencing considerable losses on daily basis due to overcapacity. The rumor has raised many eyebrows since a far greater demand is present on LNG market, which is becoming ever more prominent.
Previously, it was disclosed that the Chinese state-owned shipping operator China Ocean Shipping Group Co. (COSCO) is considering a major order of 10 supertankers aimed at building up the group’s fleet capacities amid rising oil imports of the country.
The two orders go in line with the intentions of the Chinese Government to expand its VLCC fleet with 80 new units, thus gaining more control over the country’s energy supply chain.
When asked to confirm the claims all the three major stakeholders withheld any concrete information, by saying that they could not confirm the claims or disclose other details on the order.
World Maritime News Staff, October 1, 2012