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Mitrabahtera Segara Sejati: Diversification strategy under new leadership

Susana Germino is in a bit of a hurry when Maritime CEO comes calling for her first media interview since landing in Jakarta on Wednesday. After us, she’s got CNBC coming in for a televised chat. 21 years after her career in shipping started, Germino, a well travelled Portuguese native, is now the head of a shipping line, taking the reins this week at Mitrabahtera Segara Sejati (MBSS), a Jakarta-listed dry bulk logistics operator, principally focused on coal.

Founded in 1994, MBSS manages a large fleet consisting of tug boats, barges, floating cranes and support vessels. The company has 86 tugs and 71 barges in its fleet today. MBSS is 51% owned by Indika Energy and 25% by Singapore-based China Navigation (CNCo), the Swire shipping line Germino has been with for the past seven years.

Indika Energy is a diverse conglomerate that owns Kideco, the third largest coal mine in Indonesia among a swathe of energy-related interests across the Indonesian archipelago.

With Germino installed as president director at the Indonesian outfit, diversification will be key to her tenure at the top.

“Diversification of cargo and assets is one of the main priorities in our strategy,” Germino tells Maritime CEO.

Germino’s career path has taken her across many strands of the shipping industry as well as to many distant corners of the maritime world. She studied naval engineering in Portugal, and spent the first years of her career working in shipyards in her home country. Afterwards, she joined Lloyd’s Register, working in London, Shanghai and Hamburg. In 2006, she joined ASP Ship Management with postings in London and Glasgow before becoming commercial director for Bangkok-based Thoresen Thai Agencies, a move that was the start of the Southeast Asian chapter in her career that would later see her move with Swire, first to Papua New Guinea and latterly to Singapore before getting this Jakarta promotion.

“We will be working on the synergies across the other companies of Indika and of course CNCo,” Germino says, adding: “We have very supportive shareholders that believe that MBSS has the potential to become a large player not only in the transport of coal but also other commodities in Indonesia.”

With that, she has to go — the TV cameras are rolling.


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