PUTRAJAYA: Swee Joo Bhd will focus on its tanker business and expand its fleet to accommodate anticipated increase in demand for its shipping services.
Yesterday, it signed an agreement with Ships Classification Malaysia (SCM) for the classification of 7,000-tonne tanker Asia Bright, which will be used for the transportation of crude palm oil (CPO) and other liquid cargo from east Malaysia to Peninsular Malaysia, India and China.
Asia Bright, commissioned at US$12mil, is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2008, and will be one of two 7,000-tonne tankers owned by Swee Joo in its 31-vessel fleet.
Swee Joo managing director Sim Mong Hong told reporters after the signing ceremony that the demand for CPO was on the rise, especially from India and China. “There's much potential for us to deploy tankers to China. A 7,000-tonne vessel makes a round trip in 20 days and there is anticipated increase in demand for CPO in that country,” he said.
Other than India and China, Swee Joo is also looking at possible routes to Myanmar. The company is also a box operator with routes covering Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.
Currently, main board-listed Swee Joo is also conducting a feasibility study on the possibility of transporting petroleum between countries as well, in line with its plan to concentrate on its tanker business. The company hoped to achieve its targeted 20% growth in earnings for the current financial year ending Sept 30, 2007 (FY07).
Swee Joo recorded about 23% growth in revenue and 42% increase in profit in FY06.
SCM has classified 441 vessels, totalling 300,000 tonnes.
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