Dutch Norwegian shortsea shipping company Longship Group has ordered two modern Bijlsma Trader 6000 multipurpose vessels at Bijlsma Shipyard in the Netherlands. The first of the new ships is due to be delivered in the last quarter of 2021, with the second vessel to follow in the first quarter of 2022.

The newbuilds will strengthen the company’s position in the 6000-DWT range. The Bijlsma Trader 6000 is a 104-metre multi-purpose vessel with a deadweight of 6080 tonnes and a 7645-m3 hold suitable for heavy cargo and equipped with tween decks.

The vessels will be optimised with a low power, 1600 kW main engine that drives a nozzled adjustable pitch propeller. It will also feature a shore connection, heat recovery and ECO performance monitoring software. These systems and the design of the vessels contribute to a reduction of CO2 emissions as well as a reduced fuel consumption of about twenty per cent compared to similar tonnages.

The EUR-21-million deal is a joint venture between Longship and the VMS Shipping Group, in which both companies have an equal share. Longship will be responsible for the commercial management and VMS for the technical management. The deal builds on a strong existing relationship between Longship and both the VMS Shipping Group and the VEKA Group, which Bijlsma Shipyard is a part of.

Expansion possibilities

‘This is a milestone in Longship’s eleven years’ history. We are continuously looking into expansion possibilities and new technologies to ensure sustainable growth that will keep our fleet up to date and future proof,’ says Øyvind Sivertsen, managing partner and CEO of Longship.

Also read: Shipping company Longship acquires stake in Norwegian Wagle Chartering

‘When I joined Longship as a partner in 2014, I saw a lot of opportunities and challenges in the 6000-DWT segment,’ adds Michel Cigrang, who is also a managing partner of Longship. ‘Coastal shipping underwent many changes in respect of financing, ownership and most important the environmental aspect of the trade. It is paramount for us to find solid financial partners who can assist our growth in making coastal shipping more ecological. Consolidation of our market is inevitable too. I am a strong believer in our growth strategy. The first steps were made at the end of last year by acquiring fifty per cent of Wagle Chartering and we are looking at other opportunities too.’

First newbuild project

For VMS Shipping Group this is their first newbuild project. ‘Since our founding in 2012, we have managed to achieve stable growth by taking third-party vessels into our management as well as by participating in several vessels. We are therefore proud that, despite our young existence, we can now realize our first new build project and have a further expansion with our partners,’ says Erik van der Wiel, CEO of VMS Shipping Group.