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Coronavirus sees Wallenius Wilhelmsen prune fleet and send ships into cold lay-up

Blue chip Norwegian roro shipowner Wallenius Wilhelmsen today detailed what it described as the “decisive steps” to prepare for a challenging time ahead thanks to the spread of Covid-19.

The proposed dividend for 2019 has been withdrawn, up to four vessels will be recycled, and preparations are being made to place up to 10 vessels in cold lay-up.

“The world has changed dramatically over the past weeks, and we are all feeling the effect. The impact these events will have on the world economy and global supply chains remains unpredictable, but it is increasingly clear that current events will have longer term impacts. Our strong focus on synergies and cost efficiency over the past years have put us in a solid liquidity position, but we are taking early precautionary steps now, to preserve cash,” said Craig Jasienski, president and CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

The Oslo-listed company reckons its fleet has an overcapacity of 10 to 15 vessels net of already planned redelivery of charter vessels. This will be solved through a combination of early recycling and cold lay-ups.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen is working to recycle up to four vessels, all 24 years or older.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen has two newbuildings under construction that will be further delayed due to the disruption Covid-19 is causing.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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