10.2020 Leader's Remarks
Chairman Douglas Hsu’s Address at the Christening Ceremony for M.V. “Grand Pioneer”
From U-Ming Marine Transport /
Though not being able to receive this new vessel in Qingdao due to the pandemic, leveraging on cloud technology, we held a virtual Christening ceremony to not only coincide with Qingdao Beihai Shipyard, but also allow guests to participate in both Taipei and Singapore to witness the ceremony via cloud video connection. In particular, we appreciate the presence of Mrs. Chu Hsu Mei-Lan, the Sponsor for M.V. “Grand Pioneer”, making this Christening ceremony even more significant.
Star of the Ceremony M. V. Grand Pioneer has a length of 339.9 meters, width of 62 meters, and a deadweight of 325,000 metric tons. She is the first VLOC built for U-Ming by Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding to operate under the 25-year Contract of Affreightment (COA) awarded by Vale International SA, the world’s largest iron ore producer for transporting Brazilian iron ore to China, which includes another VLOC scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2020. This contract will help to increase the positioning of U-Ming’s long-term charter ships and create long-term stable cash flow and profits.
M. V. “Grand Pioneer”, expected to be delivered in mid-September, is designed with the concept of energy-saving and sustainability, and embedded with LNG capability, allowing the flexibility to transform the ship into LNG and fuel operation in the future. In terms of sustainability and energy efficiency, it is also equipped with the most advanced MAN B & W main engine and SOx Scrubber. With its ultra-low fuel consumption and its EEDI standard above international regulations, U-Ming will be able to enhance its competitive advantage by providing green shipping to its customers with reduced greenhouse emissions. The vessel’s proprietary Fleet Performance Management (FPM) systems, supported by its Operations Center, enable near-real-time key performance index monitoring, enhancing operation transparency and ensuring safe navigation; thus saving fuel consumption, improve operating efficiency, and add another eco-friendly vessel to U-Ming’s smart fleet.
The outbreak of the global pandemic in the first half of 2020 resulted in the sharp decrease in sea transport demand. The average BDI dropped 23% to only 685 points, from 895 points in the same period of 2019. This period is being viewed as the most severe recession encountered in the past 35 years. However, thanks to the respective governments’ response to the pandemic situation, it has gradually become clear and started to actively revive the economy by expanding domestic demand, it is expected to boost a sustained recovery in the dry bulk market.
U-Ming avoids placing orders at the peak of the market and constantly renewing its fleet with environmentally friendly, energy-saving and digitalized capabilities to increase its market competitiveness thus able to boost the Company’s financial performance.
Last but not least, thank you again for your efforts. Though currently under the impact of this global pandemic, M.V. “Grand Pioneer” is determined to launch forward despite all the challenges.#