China’s Beibu Gulf charters CDB FL bulker newbuilds

Chinese shipowner and bulker operator Beibu Gulf Shipping is to expand its fleet by agreeing to take a series of newbuildings on long-term charters.

The shipping arm of state-owned Beibu Gulf Port Group has time chartered several newcastlemax bulkers from China Development Bank Financial Leasing (CDB FL).

Five fixtures

One source familiar with Beibu Gulf Shipping says the company has fixed five 208,000-dwt bulker newbuildings that the Chinese leasing outfit has under construction at Yangzijiang Shipbuilding for delivery between the second half of 2020 and 2021.

He adds that Beibu Gulf Shipping has chartered the bulkers for at least five years. The charter rate has not been disclosed.

The source says Beibu Gulf Port has a diverse business portfolio, with a presence in food manufacturing, real-estate development, logistics, steel mills, trading, port constructions and is a joint partner in Malaysia’s Kuantan Port Consortium.

The group imports large volumes of raw materials and grains for its subsidiaries.

Beibu Gulf Shipping is described as an active charterer and recently extended the hire of Diana Shipping’s 75,700-dwt Selina (built 2010) for another 16 to 19 months at a reported rate of $12,250 per day.

Beibu Gulf Shipping is said to control around 70 bulkers, ranging from supramaxes to capesizes.

The Hong Kong-based company also owns three kamsarmax bulkers — the 82,000-dwt BBG Ambition (built 2009), BBG Bright (built 2012) and BBG Endeavor (built 2013).

Optional vessels

The newcastlemax bulker newbuildings that CDB FL has fixed to Beibu Gulf Shipping are believed to be the optional vessels that the leasing company held at Yangzijiang when it signed up for its first five vessels at the end of last year.

The earlier ships, which are slated to be delivered in 2020, are fixed out to US commodities giant Cargill.