The Italian shipowner Ciane Spa has purchased a second double-hull bunker tanker from the Turkish shipbuilder Çiçek Shipyard. The vessel was handed over to the Italians at the beginning of February and started bunkering operations immediately.
In May 2009, Çiçek delivered «Chem Flower», the first of a series of four 3,100dwt IMO II chemical tankers it had had under construction for its associated shipowning company White Tulip Shipping, to Ciane. This vessel has since been operating successfully as «Frecciamare» out of Genoa and neighbouring ports including Savona, Vado Ligure, La Spezia and Marina di Carrara, providing bunker fuel to vessels calling at these ports.
Now the Italian owner has decided to purchase the second vessel in the series, which was to have been named «Chem Rose», and named her «Brezzamare».
Based in Augusta, on the east coast of Sicily, Ciane is part of the Novella Group, headed by Marco Novella and his family, and specialises in coastal tanker and bunker operations. Augusta is one of Italy’s largest ports, a major centre for oil refining and a popular bunkering centre, being on the main east-west trade route through the Mediterranean.
Although Ciane Spa intends using «Brezzamare» for bunkering duties, operating alongside «Frecciamare», the two ships are extremely flexible, being capable of worldwide trading, transporting oil products, chemicals (IMO type II) and vegetable, animal and fish oils.
MarineLine coatings were selected by Çiçek to give the ability to carry a wide range of cargoes while high manoeuvrability is guaranteed by the choice of twin azimuthing propellers and a bow thruster. They are classed by Bureau Veritas and constructed to meet Ice B standards.
According to Berke Çiçek, Vice President of Cicek Shipyard, interest from European owners for such vessels is strong, despite the overall weak state of the shipping market. He explained:
– New double-hulled vessels like these are still in demand to replace older tonnage and because we took the initiative to start construction of the four ships to our own account, new owners benefit from extremely short delivery periods. We are talking to a number of other potential owners and charterers and are confident of finding buyers who can secure immediate and profitable employment for these vessels. We still have two sister vessels from the same series which are waiting for their new owners.
– We were not surprised by the interest shown in these ships by the Novella Group. We had identified the bunker trades as a strong potential market since many bunker tankers are still single-hull and quite elderly. There is a replacement market and there is also a requirement for larger vessels like ours since average ship sizes continue to grow. Large containerships, for example, take onboard substantial amounts of bunkers and they also expect a fast rate of delivery.
Speaking on behalf of the owner, Luca Stegagnini, who is the technical manager and a board member of Ciane spa, said:
– «Frecciamare» is proving to be an excellent vessel. Being an IMO II chemical tanker, she might be considered to be “over qualified” as a bunker tanker but we are sure she will prove to be a good longterm investment.
– With her twin azimuthing propellers and a powerful bow thruster, she is already very popular with our masters who find her excellent manoeuvrability helps considerably when coming alongside vessels awaiting bunkers in crowded or otherwise restricted areas. More than this though, we see that her qualities and up to date features will give added value and wider opportunities in actual and future market conditions.
– For example, while a deep well pumping system may be unusual on a bunker tanker, it offers us the possibility of varying the tank capacities we allocate to different grades of bunker fuel. New regulations on marine sulphur content are expected to see ships bunkering with different grades of fuel at the same time to meet the changing legal requirements as they pass from one emission zone to another. This is a real challenge for operators of older, more traditional bunker tankers.
«Frecciamare» / «Brezzamare» principal particulars
Length (oa): 84.91m
Length (bp): 77.97m
Design draft: 5.30m
Scantling draft: 5.40m
Deadweight: 3,087 tonnes (at 5.30m draft)
Gross: 1,980 tons
Main engines: 2 x 6-cylinder Mitsubishi S12R-MPTK diesels each generating 940 kW @ 1600 rev/min
Service speed: 11 knots at 85% mcr
Çiçek Shipyard is located on Tuzla Bay, near Istanbul, and in addition to the small tankers, its current orderbook includes 58,000 dwt and 25,000 dwt bulk carriers. It has a long track record of constructing chemical tankers from 8,000 dwt up to 40,000 dwt in size.
The largest vessels are constructed in a 37m wide building dock while ships of up to 25,000 dwt can be built on an adjacent slipway. The 3,100 dwt tankers are being constructed on a second slipway, capable of building ships of up to 3,500dwt.