The Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise (ESLSE) is under preparation to buy two bulk-cargo ships.
Mekonnen Abera, director general of the Maritime Affairs Authority and board chairman of the Ethiopian Marine Transport and Logistics Services Enterprise, and Roba Megerssa, CEO of the enterprise, on Monday launched the project office that would oversee the procurement of the two ships.
The enterprise said the project office has six members who have long years of experience. The project office will be responsible for the design of the ships and the selection of the shipyard that would build the new vessels.
The fleet that is operated by ESLSE has 11 ships with a total loading capacity of 400,000 tons of cargo. Two the ships are fuel tankers. Robe told The Reporter that the enterprise is preparing to float an international tender and invite companies with repeatable ship building experience to bid for the project.
“The ships will be built in East Asia, most probably in China, Korea or Indonesia,” Roba said.
The ships will be built in the 2020-2021 budget year. Each ship will have 60,000 tons of bulk-cargo loading capacity. Roba declined to disclose the cost of the two ships saying that it would affect the bidding process.
The Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise transported and handled 11 million tons of cargo in the 2019-2020 Budget Year, which ended on June.
Out of the total, some 7 million tons was transported by ships. The enterprise that serves 330 ports leases ships with slot charter agreement from other carriers.
The company transports 60 percent of the Ethiopia’s imports, every year. The enterprise generated about of 25.8 billion birr and earned a profit of 2.5 billion birr. The enterprise’s capital stands at 20 billion birr and plans to raise it to 80 billion birr.
Roba said his company registered a remarkable performance despite the adverse impacts of COVI-19 that hit the global marine transport industry.
China where Ethiopia’s majority import originates was closed when the COVID-19 broke out last December. One third of Ethiopia’s containerised cargo comes from China.
The Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise is a merger of four enterprises which were working independently in the sea transport sector.
These were Ethiopian Shipping Lines Share Company, Ethiopian Maritime and Transit Service Enterprise, Dry Port Enterprise; and the former Comet Transport Share Company which was consolidated in to the new company, August, 2016.