Canadian shipowner Fednav has returned to Japan to order a single ice-breaking bulk carrier newbuilding.
The 31,000-dwt vessel has been ordered at Japan Marine United (JMU) via Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corporation.
The newbuilding is scheduled to be delivered in 2020, according to a statement from the shipbuilder. No financial terms were disclosed.
Upon delivery the new ship will join Fednav’s existing icebreaking bulkers – the 28,400-dwt Arctic (built 1978), the 31,754-dwt Nunavik (built 2014) and the 31,992-dwt Umiak (built 2006) – the last two of which were built by JMU or its predecessors.
Tom Paterson, who heads Fednav’s Arctic shipping projects, told TradeWinds in an interview last year that these Polar Class 4 ships can be up to four times the cost of a comparable ice-class bulker and that such ships require a long-term charter before any investment is made.
“The ships that can work in the Arctic year-round will only be built against a firm take or pay contract because the ship is so costly,” Paterson said.