Unicorn increases its fleet

Jun 8, 2005
Author: Robert Young: Marine Director Unicorn Shipping

“Something old, something new” is how part of the popular saying goes and this applies to what’s recently been happening in Unicorn Shipping.

Unicorn bade a fond farewell to the 44,651 tonnes deadweight tanker SIMUNYE (ex-ENGEN SIMUNYE), owned jointly by Engen and Unicorn, which was sold at a high point in the market cycle. She delivered to her new Norwegian owners in the port of Geelong, Australia during June.

Built in Poland in 1997, this well-found and reliable ship has traded virtually all her life between South-East Asia and Australia on charter to the Shell Company of Australia. Popular with her Unicorn crews and charterers alike, her numerical replacement in the Unicorn fleet will be one of further ten new tankers to deliver to Unicorn from Korean shipyards between now and mid-2008.

The 630-TEU container feeder vessel RANGE, which has been on charter to Ocean Africa Container Lines (OACL) from German owners for a number of years, was purchased by Unicorn Shipping for continued charter to OACL.

Although 22 years of age, the ship was well-built by a respected specialist builder of container ships, J J Sietas shipyard of Hamburg, and carries her age well. She will continue to be managed on behalf of Unicorn by Scott Shipmanagement, who managed the ship for her previous owners. The ship serves ports in the Tanzania to Angola range.

And now for something new. Unicorn Shipping has increased by a further two ships its orders for 37,000 dwt oil products/chemical tankers placed at the Shin-A Shipbuilding Co in Korea. With a total of nine ships of the SOUTHERN UNITY class ordered (of which three are already in service), this represents the longest-running series of orders placed by Unicorn in its long history.

The eight-ship orders placed at Szczecin Shipyard during the 1990’s involved a mix of different types of containerships and tankers, of which SIMUNYE was one. With a further six 37,000 dwt tankers still to come from Shin-A, and a series of four 12,800 dwt chemical tankers on order at next-door yard Samho, some interesting new names will appear in the Unicorn fleet list over the next few years, featuring large animals and South African mountain ranges.

But wait – there’s more! Although not destined at the outset to be owned by Unicorn, four chemical tankers will be built in Japan for long-term charter to Unicorn Shipping.

Delivering over the next three years the two 25,000 dwt and one each 19,000 and 33,000 dwt ships will revive famous names previously borne by coasters of ancestral company Thesen’s Steamship Co – PONDO, ZULU, SWAZI and BASUTO – this time gracing modern ships bearing Unicorn’s familiar orange and blue livery and the Unicorn logo in world-wide trade.


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