The PRS is also developing its relationship with the China Classification Society (CCS), having earlier this year signed a cooperation agreement in China for implementing a Chinese-Polish joint stock shipping company (Chipolbrok) new-build project and hosting a CCS delegation in Gdansk.
Chipolbrok’s order with the Cosco Dalian Shipyard for six multi-purpose/heavy-lift vessels is a key factor in the cooperation between the PRS and the CCS. Reflecting the fact that Chipolbrok is owned 50:50 by the China Ministry of Communications and Poland’s Ministry of Economics, three of these vessels are being built to PRS class while the other three will be built to CCS class. They are due for delivery between 2009 and 2010.
In addition, the Szczecin-based Polish Steamship Company (Polsteam) has ordered 18 bulk carriers in China. Four 80,000 dwt Panamax vessels, contracted with New Times Shipbuilding Co in Jingjiang for delivery in 2010–11, will be classed by PRS together with Lloyd’s Register, as will eight 37,000 dwt handy-size bulkers ordered from Xingang Tianjin Shipyard for delivery in 2008–10.
Six 30,000 dwt bulk carriers – termed ‘Lakers’, as they are designed for operation on the Great Lakes – are also being built for Polsteam in China to PRS and Det Norske Veritas class. Four of these are being built by Yangzhou Guoyu Shipyard for delivery in 2008–09 and two by Nantong Mingde Shipyard for delivery in 2009.
According to Darek Rudzinski, PRS commercial director, this revival in newbuilding classification work for Polish owners has also stimulated interest from owners based in other countries. “We are able to use these opportunities to demonstrate what we can do, using Polish surveyors and Polish management, both in China and in our head office,” he said.
“The Chipolbrok contract is especially challenging as the three ships are quite sophisticated. They have extremely large hatch openings, closed by hatch covers designed to support heavy-lift cargo carried on deck. Each vessel is equipped with four large cranes, two of which each have a capacity to lift 320 tonnes or a combined 640 tonnes.”