Conversion deal sealed

Rand Logistics of the US has hired a Chinese shipyard to convert a chemical tanker into a self-unloading bulker.

In a statement the New York-quoted operator identified Chengxi Shipyard as the recipient of the award but failed to shed light on pricing.

Rand said the project will include the construction and assembly of a new forebody that will be affixed to the aft section of the vessel, which was not identified by name.

When the ship is deployed in the second-half of 2015 the company claims it will be the first new Canadian-flagged river class self-unloader introduced into service on the Great Lakes in over 40 years.

“The conversion project reaffirms the company's commitment to support the growth of its customers and is consistent with Rand's strategy of remaining the leader in both the US and Canadian river class markets on the Great Lakes,” the operator added.

Attempts to reach Rand, which will oversee 17 ships when the project is completed, for more detail about the cost of the project and the identity of the vessel involved in the deal were not immediately successful at the time of writing Tuesday.