Newport SA, a Piraeus-based owner of Japanese-built bulkers, has placed its first newbuilding orders in the Far Eastern country.

This gives fresh impetus to a long-term growth drive that has seen the fleet of George Chatzis expand to more than 30 vessels.

Market sources told TradeWinds that the low-profile Greek player has moved below the radar to ink a trio of kamsarmaxes at Oshima Shipbuilding.