AAL grows fleet with secondhand acquisitions and four newbuilds

Singapore-based breakbulk and heavylift operator AAL has expanded its fleet with two secondhand 33,000 dwt multipurpose heavylift vessels and announced plans to add at least four new 32,000 dwt MPP vessels.

The 2011-built AAL Mars and the 2010-built AAL Merkur were acquired for $10.3m and $10.9m, respectively, according to VesselsValue. Previously known as Warnow Mars and Warnow Merkur, the vessels have been serving within the carrier’s operating fleet on a commercial management basis. Along with four other acquisitions made by AAL over the past eight months, the new additions have helped lift AAL’s owned fleet to 569,600 dwt and render the carrier control of 80% of its current 711,200 dwt operating fleet.

The 32,000 dwt newbuild units will be constructed at China’s Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard and feature three 350t heavy lift cranes, with a maximum lift capacity of 700t. No price was revealed for this order. The vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2024, and according to AAL, will be fully compliant with forthcoming IMO CO2 emissions regulations. Kyriacos Panayides, managing director of AAL, said the newbuilds will be deployed both on regular monthly trade routes between the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia and the company’s bespoke tramp solutions worldwide.

“We have been planning our third generation building programme for several years now, patiently waiting until such time that market forecasts and projected cargo demand within key customer verticals proved sustainable for this kind of investment.

“In 2021, the MPP shipping sector experienced phenomenal growth, despite still operating in the throes of the global COVID-19 pandemic and severe port congestion. As a project heavy lift cargo specialist, AAL continues to prioritise breakbulk and project cargoes and servicing the needs of our traditional and long-term customers. This fleet development strategy not only builds our capacity on core trade routes between the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Oceania in support of these customers, but also gives AAL greater decision-making control of our fleet going forward,” Panayides said.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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