Coeclerici has placed an order with Chinese yard Iiangsu Hantong Heavy Industry for two 55,000 dwt self-unloading bulk carriers.
A Coeclerici spokeswoman declined to comment on the order reports out of China, citing a confidentiality agree- ment, but industry sources put the value of the deal at $120m.
The vessels are due for delivery in the spring and autumn of next year. The order marks a return to ship- owning for a company that sold off its bulk ileet several years ago. At the same time, it springs from a logical and long- nurtured desire to return to its old stamping ground.
Over recent years, Coeclerici has aimed to put together a vertically integrated dry bulk supply chain that includes coal mines and terminals, trading and transport activities.
Three years ago, at a time when the disposal of its ileet to Livanos seemed to suggest a permanent move away from shipowning, chairman Paolo Coeclerici insisted that this was not the casese. He said he would buy again once he had built a critical mass of coal min- ing capacity that would justify the new purchases. Although the company has substan- tially built up its Russian proprietary coal holdings since then, it would appear that these ships have another destination, with informed sources sup- porting reports that they are destined for Africa.
Mining and transport aside, Coeclerici is also investing substantially on the logistics front, reflecting a bullish view on its prospects in regions where trade is hindered by shallow draughts or environmental concerns.
Through its Coeclerici Logistics affiliate, it operates installations ranging from freight transfer stations to floating cranes in countries such as Indonesia, Venezuela and India,·where port facilities are limited.
Coeclerici Logistics’ managing direc- tor Andrea Clavarino told Lloyd's List recently that the unit had invested €45m ($65.3m) in capital expenditure over the past four years, but that “much bigger capex spending" was coming as the company moved to exploit new opportunities.