Low secondhand prices entices the Bangladeshi owner to look for bulkers
A Bangladeshi bulker operator that aims to take advantage of lower secondhand ship prices wants to expand its fleet and international operations this year.
Dhaka-based Bashundhara group is scouting for a couple of Japanese-built bulkers, including one supramax, say sources.
They expect the bulkers to be deployed internationally to transport coal and ore from Southeast Asia to China, as well as for Bashundhara’s captive requirements.
Last October, the owner was linked to the purchase of two handymaxes — the Tsuneishi-built, 45,700-dwt Sunny Gloria (built 1998) and Oshima-built, 42,000-dwt Rogue (built 1991). The deal failed for unknown reasons, say sources.
But with low secondhand-bulker prices, they say the company has resumed its hunt for tonnage.
Bashundhara currently handles nearly one million tonnes of cargo each year but is expected to increase this to 1.5 million tonnes this year to meet the requirements of its cement factories and international customers.
It currently owns the 42,000-dwt Atro-1 (built 1990), 45,000-dwt Atro-2 (built 1994) and 46,600-dwt Atro-3 (built 1996), which are all trading internationally.
Bashundhara also owns 22 smaller coastal bulkers between 500 dwt and 1,800 dwt carrying in-house cargoes along the Bangladeshi coast, say sources.
Bashundhara was launched in 1987 as a real-estate developer but in the past five years has diversified into cement, paper, steel mills, dredging and food processing. In 2009, it launched a media wing, which owns three newspapers.