China delivers sixth bulk cargo carrier to Cuba
State-owned Shanghai Shipyard Co. Ltd. delivered the sixth of 10 bulk
cargo ships Cuba has ordered in China, official news service ACN reported.
The 35,000-ton grains carrier was delivered in Shanghai in the presence
of the Cuban ambassador in Beijing, Alberto Blanco. The ship was named
after revolutionary heroine Lidia Doce.
Neither of the two sides has revealed the financial terms of the order
by Cuba’s Empresa Importadora General del Transporte (EIGT), on behalf
of Grupo Acemex, with Chinese state company China National Machinery
Import & Export Corporation (CMC). The purchases are financed by China’s
Eximbank. According to observers, the order for 10 35,000-ton handymax
vessels is worth at least $250 million. The order came in September
2009, ending a one-year drought for the state-owned shipyard.
The addition of 10 cargo ships will boost the tonnage of Cuba’s merchant
marine and allow it to trade with far-flung partners such as Iran,
Ecuador or Angola. The addition of grain vessels will lower the cost of
grain imports for Cuba; foreign shippers charge a premium for serving
Cuba because the United States prohibits ships coming from Cuba to dock
at U.S. ports.
In August 2011, the same shipyard in Shanghai delivered the first
35,000-ton ship, the Abdala.
Employees of Cuban state company Acemex are supervising the construction
of the ships.