Swire Bulk Logistics, the industrial shipping division of the China Navigation Company (CNCo), has entered into a long term partnership with New Zealand’s Golden Bay Cement (GBC), a trading division of Fletcher Building Limited, to build, own and operate a self-discharging cement carrier.
The 9,000 deadweight (dwt) vessel, named Aotearoa Chief, to be built at China’s Jinling shipyard, is specifically designed to operate on the New Zealand coast. The design incorporates innovative marine technologies and will meet the latest environmental standards, Swire said.
The vessel is expected to commence operations in late 2016. She will operate under the New Zealand flag, and ply the New Zealand coast between the loading port of Portland and GBC’s distribution centres in Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, as well as expanded services to New Plymouth and Picton.
“This partnership reinforces CNCo’s commitment to developing New Zealand’s coastal shipping industry, and is critical in supporting the country’s infrastructural development,” Chris Blake, Country Manager, CNCo, said.
Upon completion, Aotearoa Chief will become CNCo’s first self-discharging cement carrier.
In recent years, CNCo has invested in fleet rejuvenation of its multipurpose liner vessels and bulk carriers to meet the demands of the New Zealand market. Some 17 vessels have been delivered over the past 18 months and another 23 are scheduled for delivery over the next two years.
CNCo’s New Zealand operation includes five independent multipurpose liner shipping services connecting New Zealand to Asia, Australia, the Pacific Islands and the West Coast North America.