Leveraging on cloud technology, guests from both Taipei and Singapore offices were able to attend the ceremony simultaneously. Hosted by Mr. Douglas Hsu, Chairman of the Far Eastern Group, M.V. "Grand Wisdom" was named by Mrs. Liu Chuang, Yi-Fei, spouse of U-Ming Marine's Independent Director Mr. Liu, Chorng-Jian. The Christening ceremony was successfully completed at the virtual presence of Chairman Hsu, Mr. & Mrs. Liu and other guests.
M.V. Grand Wisdom has a length of 339.9m, width of 62.0m and a deadweight of 325,000 metric tons. She is the second VLOC built for U-Ming by Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding to operate under the 25-year Contract of Affreightment (COA) awarded by Vale International SA of Switzerland (Vale), one of the world's top 5 iron ore producers, for transporting Brazilian iron ore to China. The total contracted value of this COA is more than US$600 million enabling the company to secure a bigger portion of long-term contracts with stabilized revenue and profit.
Backed by our strong corporate value in pursuit of greener shipping, the vessel is built with the concept of energy saving and sustainability, equipped with the most advanced MAN B&W main engine, and embedded with LNG ready design concept, allowing flexibility to transform the ship into LNG dual-fuel in the future. The vessel is also equipped with a SOx Scrubber, in compliance with the International Maritime Organization's 2020 global sulphur limit. With its ultra-low fuel consumption performance and its EEDI standard above international regulations, U-Ming will be able to enhance its competitive advantage by providing green shipping to its customers with reduced greenhouse emissions.
U-Ming recognizes that after energy-saving eco-ships, the next industry trend and optimization opportunity will be the introduction of "Smart-ship" through digital technology. Under the strategic business plan, U-Ming's management team has identified Performance Enhancement (PE), Condition Monitoring Enhancement (CME), Reliability and Security Enhancement (RSE) as the key focus for intelligent vessels' development at this stage. The completion and delivery of M.V. Grand Wisdom will thus be awarded with three SmartShip (PE, CME, RSE) notations by the DNV GL Classification Society,
Image by U-Ming Marine
U-Ming's proprietary Fleet Safety Performance (FSM) and Fleet Performance Management (FPM) systems, supported by its Operations Center, enable near-real-time data for speed, weather and route monitoring thus saving fuel and ensuring safe navigation. These platforms can also grasp the operational status of ship critical equipment and execute preventive maintenance to avoid unnecessary breakdowns and delays.
In 2020, the global economic trade activities have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic thus the development of maritime transportation has also been negatively affected. Stimulus packages from various countries have increased investment in infrastructure construction and started to boost domestic demand which will ensure a sustained recovery in the dry bulk market. The demand for shipping is expected to show a significant positive growth next year despite the overall zero or even negative growth this year. China's raw material demand has rebounded in the second half of the year and it is expected that the demand of other markets will also gradually recover. The uncertainty of environmental protection laws and regulations is repressing shipowners' willingness to place ship orders; from 2021 onwards, the projection for newbuilding delivery activity is likely to be low whilst ship-recycling level is high.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that China will be the only country in the G20 that will show positive economic growth this year. With effective epidemic control, Chinese domestic industries have resumed production and steel production in particular has hit its historical high. The World Steel Association has forecasted that China's steel demand in 2020 will grow by 8.5% compared to last year, making China the only positive growing country among the top 10 steel consuming countries in 2019. China's iron ore imports from January to October 2020 has increased by 11.2% compared to the same period last year. China is continuing to promote environmental protection policies and improve blast furnace production efficiency which will further increase the import demand for high-quality iron ore from Brazil thus helping the recovery of bulk shipping market.
In the post-epidemic era, U-Ming will continue to form strategic alliances and to secure long-term freight partnerships with reliable customers ensuring constant revenue and profit to sustain our business. The company will also pursue its ongoing digital transformation towards a smart fleet through a reliable ship safety system; and leverages on its prudent and efficient management team to enhance its branding and core competitiveness.
U-Ming currently owns and operates Capesize, Post Panamax, Kamsarmax, Panamax, Ultramax and Supramax bulk carriers; cement carriers; Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) and Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC), amounting to a total of 50 vessels including vessels that are in operation, under construction, joint ventures and ship management services; totaling deadweight of 7.29 million tons. With subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Singapore and China Xiamen, it is the largest public-listed bulk carrier company in Taiwan in terms of gross tonnage.
U-Ming Marine press release