Home » Maritime, Ports/Terminals » Chelsea subsidiary partners with Japanese firm for fleet upgrade

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Kumiai Senpaku Co. Ltd., one of the largest independent shipping companies in Japan, has agreed to finance the construction and acquisition of a passenger vessel for Starlite Ferries, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. (CLIHC).

The 98-meter passenger ferry with Hull No. S-1191 will be built by Kegoya Dock Co. Ltd. at its shipyard in Hiroshima, Japan, and delivered to Starlite in April 2020, CLIHC said in a statement.

The S-1191 is the subject of a 20-year bareboat charter agreement signed on May 26 between Kumiai’s subsidiary, Southern Pacific Holding Corporation (SPHC) as owner, and Starlite Ferries, Inc. as charterer. The bareboat charter agreement comes with an irrevocable obligation for Starlite Ferries to purchase the vessel at the end of the 20-year charter period.

Also on May 26, CLIHC signed the letter of guarantee in favor of SPHC in connection with the obligations and undertakings of Starlite Ferries under the bareboat charter agreement.

Kumiai previously financed the acquisition by Trans-Asia Shipping Lines, Inc., also a wholly owned subsidiary of CLHIC, of a 67-meter passenger ferry, with Hull No. S-1185, which was subsequently named Trans-Asia 19 and arrived in the Philippines in November 2018.

“Our new strategic partnership with Kumiai underscores our long-standing and ongoing commitment to shipping modernization, becoming the country’s prime mover of vital goods, cargoes and people. We look to Kumiai as a leader in Japan’s shipping industry, whose excellence can bring our local shipping industry to global standards,” CLIHC president and chief executive officer Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy said.

Aside from Starlite and Trans-Asia, CLIHC’s shipping and logistics businesses include Chelsea Shipping Corp., and Worklink Services, Inc. It also has 28.15% indirect economic interest in total logistics solutions provider 2GO Group, Inc.

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