Newport re-emerges with unique ship repair offering

UK-headquartered Newport Shipping Group has appointed a new executive team made up of many well known names in the industry and refocused its business away from its initial bulker pooling plans to provide drydocking, repair services and financing to the global shipping industry.

The company’s new service portfolio claims to offer a unique ship repair financing proposition, whereby shipowners opting to repair their ships at one of Newport Shipping’s 13 drydocks around the world can stagger 60% of their drydocking payments into 12 or more equal monthly installments.

Traditionally, when a vessel drydocks, up to 50% of drydocking costs are paid over a two or three-month period. Sometimes, shipyards may require all drydocking costs be paid before the vessel returns to service, while spare parts suppliers and equipment manufacturers are usually unable to extend such credit terms.

Newport’s new management line-up sees Erol Sarikaya as CEO. He previously worked as chief restructuring officer at dry bulk outfit Pioneer Marine and was commercial director at Navig8 before that. Roy Yap, previously with Sinopacific Group and Vallianz Holdings, is COO, while former RBS executive Colin Manchester is chief risk officer. There’s a host of other names with extensive experience connected to the company, which also boasts famous ship financier – and Splash columnist – Dagfinn Lunde as a board member.

Manchester, Newport’s chief risk officer, said in a release: “I see our product having excellent value for our customers across all shipping segments. By deferring the majority of ship repair costs, we reduce cost pressures that often limit otherwise needed repair works during weak freight-rate environments, preserving liquidity for other needs. Unlike other yards that typically provide 90-day credit on just their drydock works, we provide credit terms beginning at 12 months, and based on a shipowner’s underlying drydocking and ship maintenance requirements. This allows for the shipowner’s operational expenditure to be spread out over a given period, which can then be better covered by charter hire earnings.”

Newport’s newly appointed CEO Sarikaya commented: “Yes, there is an element of industry disruption in all of this, but a change to the way in which ship repair and retrofit projects are executed is long overdue. It is Newport Shipping’s mission to provide shipowners and ship repair yards with a comprehensive service that allows them to benefit in what remains a difficult and competitive market.”

The rebranded, refocused company will be exhibiting at Posidonia in Athens next month.

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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