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Rongsheng makes comeback as SPS Shipyard with Economou in for up to 14 bulkers

One of the most famous shipyards from the previous boom and bust era of shipping is making a comeback.

Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries is coming back to the market, rebranded as SPS Shipyard, offering owners a new, giant facility to place orders.

The shipyard, located in the Yangtze River Delta, was founded in 2006, and became the largest private shipbuilder in China, churning out giant valemaxes at its four large dry-docks, before a massive financial collapse forced it to cease operations in 2014.

Broking sources in China tell Splash that the yard’s former chief operating officer David Luan is now preparing to officially reopen the yard, to be known as SPS Shipyard, a reference to ShipParts.com, a business he created in 2015 after quitting Rongsheng.

Luan has tapped an old client, George Economou’s TMS Dry, to come in with the first orders at the reopened yard with the Greek owner signing a letter of intent for six firm 82,000 dwt kamsarmaxes and four 180,000 dwt capes. The deal comes with options for four more kamsarmaxes and pricing is understood to be a bargain – at $33m per kamsarmax and $62m per cape. The first ship will deliver in Q3 2024.

SPS Shipyard will start to market cape and kamsarmax slots from next week with next available slots being from Q3 2025 onwards. Luan has yet to reply to questions sent by Splash earlier today.

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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