Taiwan’s state-run Taiwan Power Company (TPC) is currently in negotiations with potential partners to set up a bulk shipping joint venture to expand its presence in shipowning in order to meet its coal shipping demands.
Splash understands that two Taiwanese domestic shipping companies, U-Ming Marine and Kuang Ming Shipping, and Japanese shipping major Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) are involved in the negotiations.
When contacted by Splash, a spokesperson for U-Ming confirmed that a group of companies including U-Ming are in negotiations with TPC to establish a joint venture, and a detailed joint venture plan including the final partners and shareholding percentage is likely to be finalised in the third quarter of this year.
It will not be the first time U-Ming has set up a joint venture with a domestic cargo owner. In 2010, Taiwan’s state-run oil refiner CPC Corporation formed a tanker joint venture, Global Energy Maritime, with U-Ming and Chinese Maritime Transport.
TPC is the largest power company and coal importer in Taiwan with annual coal import volumes of up to 30m tons. The company now owns a fleet of six post-panamax bulk carriers. Four of the vessels are operated by U-Ming and the other two are operated by Kuang Ming.
K Line also has long term chartering ties with TPC. K Line officials have not responded to questions sent by Splash earlier today.