Tradewinds – Hosco continues clearout as old VLOC heads for torch

(Written by Trond Lillestolen)

13 March 2013 - The disposal of another Hosco unit and one from Frontline brings the tally of scrapped capesizes to at least 13 so far this year, with panamaxes now on at least 17

China’s Hebei Ocean Shipping Co (Hosco) continues to clear out its large, elderly bulkers and has now sold the 244,000-dwt very large ore carrier (VLOC) Warrior (built 1990).

The vessel is said to have gone to Bangladesh at $432 per ldt, or $15.4m. The deal is said to include 450 tons of bunkers.

In February, Hosco disposed of the 148,000-dwt Hebei Genius (built 1990) for recycling. Last year, it sold as many as 12 large, ageing bulkers.

Last year, the Warrior was reported sold to Sinokor Merchant Marine of South Korea for $12m but apparently no deal materialised. Hosco bought the vessel in 2007 as the tanker Ruby 3 for as much as $41m and probably spent at least $10m converting it into a VLOC.

This week, it was confirmed that Frontline’s last capesize combination carrier (OBO), the 169,000-dwt Front Guider (built 1991), had been sold for demolition.

The company said last month that it had been sold for $9.1m but did not indicate whether it was for torching.

Into double figures

This means that at least 13 bulkers of capesize and larger have been sold for scrap so far this year.

In the panamax segment, Greek owner Golden Union has sold the 64,000-dwt Flag Seaman (built 1987) to Pakistan for an undisclosed price. The company, which is rapidly renewing its fleet, is listed with 29 bulkers including eight newbuildings. Only one other ship in the fleet was built before 2000, the 88,000-dwt bulker Aghios Makarios (built 1987).

So at least 17 panamaxes have now been sold for scrap this year.

Shipping Bank Co of Korea has sold the 43,000-dwt bulker SB Queen (built 1985) to Bangladesh for $418 per ldt, or $3.3m. The ship last changed hands as Chettinad Tradition for $11.8m in 2006.

Fidelity Shipping & Trading of Greece has sold the 36,000-dwt bulker Blue Princess (built 1985) to India for $416 per ldt, or $3.6m. The company bought it as Pacprincess for no more than $6m in 2002.

On the wet side, the 40,000-dwt tanker Tony (built 1988) is reported sold to India for $425 per ldt, or $3.5m.

Also, as TradeWinds went to press, it was reported that FAL Energy had sold its 258,000-dwt floating storage and offloading (FSO) unit National (built 1993) for scrap. It is either going to Pakistan or India after securing $450 per ldt, or $14.4m. FAL bought the vessel as Satsuma for $40m in 2007.

More boxships are heading for beaching. The 3,584-teu MSC Austria (built 1984) has been sold to India for a full $450 per ldt, or $8.2m, while the 2,825-teu E.R. Perth (built 1998) has fetched the same price, equal to $5.4m.

On the gas side, it now appears that BW Gas achieved $342.50 per ldt for its 17,200-cbm LPG carrier BW Havlys (built 1983), reported sold for recycling in Turkey at an undisclosed price in February.