Tokyo: Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Japan's second- largest operator of dry-bulk ships, plans to more than triple its fleet of Capesizes serving India because of galloping demand for coal and iron ore in what is now the world's fastest-growing major steel market.
Indian demand for these commodities will see NYK, Japan's second-largest operator of dry-bulk ships, have 15 Capesizes hauling iron-ore and coal to that sub-continent-sized country by 2015. If so, it will match the fleet size that is currently serving China.
In an interview given in Tokyo, Kazuo Ogasawara, general manager of Nippon Yusen's bulker group, said the company plans to expand its total Capesize fleet to 120 from 95 by 2012-2013.
Capesize ships are cargo ships which are too large to traverse the Panama Canal and can traverse the Suez Canal with some draft restrictions. To travel between oceans, such vessels must traverse the Cape of Good Hope, Suez Canal, or Cape Horn.
Capesize vessels are typically above 150,000 deadweight tons (DWT), and ships in this class include VLCC and ULCC supertankers and bulk carriers transporting coal, ore, and other commodity raw materials.
However, the term "Capesize" is most commonly used to describe bulk carriers rather than tankers. A standard capesize bulker is around 175,000 DWT, although larger ships, normally dedicated to ore transportation, have been built.