Tianyuan Logistics, the shipping unit of Chinese manganese ore producer Ningxia Tianyuan Manganese, has placed an order at state-run shipbuilder China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) for the construction of ten 120,000 dwt bulk carriers.
CSIC will build the vessels at three subsidiary yards Shanhaiguan Shipbuilding, Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding and Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding and deliveries are scheduled in 2019 and 2020. The total value of the contracts is over $380m.
The vessels are designed by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI).
In November 2017, Ningxia Tianyuan announced a plan to enter the shipowning sector by developing a fleet of over 20 bulk carriers and has since been in talks with a number of domestic shipyards for the ship orders.
According to Liu Jun, president of Tianyuan Logistics, the fleet of the company could be expanded to 30 vessels in the near future.
The vessels will support Tianyuan’s ore shipping operations from Africa and Australia to domestic ports.
Tianyuan is the world’s largest electrolytic manganese supplier. The company acquired the entire assets of Australia miner Consolidated Minerals in 2016 and reached an investment decision with the government of Ghana to develop mining and port infrastructure in 2017.