Milan: Paolo Clerici is a well-known name in the international shipping market as chairman of Coeclerici, the Italian group based in Milan focused on coal trading and logistics with an annual turnover of more than EUR600m. In 2002 Clerici decided to sell all his fleet of panamax and capesize bulk carriers — 20 ships owned by Coeclerici Ceres Bulk Carriers — to the Greek owner Peter Livanos in order to further invest and strengthen his trading and transhipment business areas.
From June 2013, however, Clerici is back in the dry bulk business through a newly formed and equally participated joint venture called dACC Maritime, built up with d’Amico Group with a mission to invest in supramax bulk carriers.
“The joint venture set up together with d’Amico Group has a hedge approach for Coeclerici in order to balance a future sea freight increase and represents an important step in the growth strategy of the group, which after 10 years is investing again in the dry bulk shipping sector” says Clerici, dACC Maritime’s chairman. “We are particularly pleased with this operation, in which we are joined by a leading shipping company and one of Japan’s leading shipyards. The joint venture is proof that building industrial partnerships makes it possible to achieve significant results, thanks to the combination of different types of know-how and managerial experience.”
The first series of two newbuildings, with an option for further two ships already exercised, were ordered in Japan to Nagasaki-based Oshima Shipbuilding at a price of less than $30m each, via the trading house Sumitomo Corporation and the brokerage firm Banchero & Costa of Genoa. The first ship, named dACC Tireno (60,000 dwt, 200 m long and 32.26 m wide), has just been delivered and will enter the new Medi Supra Pool just launched by d’Amico Group. Tirreno is the same name of the first ship bought by Clerici’s grandfather in 1911. The delivery of dACC Maritime’s second sister ship is expected in September, while the third and fourth units will come in the second half of 2016.
“We are certain that this joint venture is destined to grow,” adds Clerici, emphasising that after the first series of four ships, more ships might be ordered if market conditions are similar to a couple of years ago.
Coeclerici controls a mine in Russia with an overall annual capacity of some 1.2m tons of coal. The aim is to more than double that in the next 10 years. As it stands, Coeclerici charters 90 ships a year to move Russian coal, a figure set to rise soon.
Since 1895, Coeclerici has been sourcing, marketing and transporting raw materials — primarily coal — from mines to final end-users, serving the power and steel industries internationally. The logistics division has promoted and patented the use of floating terminals and transfer stations throughout the world. At present the Italian trading and logistics company controls a fleet of seven floating coal transhipment terminals deployed in Indonesia and in Mozambique with a structure specifically conceived to transfer coal coming from the mainland on local barges to panamax and capesize bulkers.
“For the future we have a new M&A project with an Indonesian partner that will create a big coal transhipment company to be listed on the Jakarta and Singapore stock exchanges,” Clerici reveals.
Clerici is one of 14 shipowners profiled in the latest issue of Maritime CEO magazine, which can be accessed free of charge by clicking here.