Chelsea orders new ferry from Japanese shipbuilder

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CHELSEA Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. is tapping a Japan-based shipbuilder for a fresh order of a new passenger ferry ship that will beef up its fleet.

In a statement Monday, the Dennis A. Uy-led company said it signed a shipbuilding agreement with Fukuoka Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. last week for the order of a 123-meter roll-on, roll-off passenger (ropax) vessel.

“Our thrust of improving the shipping and logistics industry, together with Fukuoka’s more than seven decades of shipbuilding expertise, will allow us to accommodate the growing number of passengers in the Visayas and Mindanao regions while employing a significant number of Filipinos onboard,” Chelsea President and Chief Executive Officer Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy was quoted as saying.

“We are certain that we can count on Fukuoka’s leadership and look forward to joining hands with them as we continuously create long-term value for our stakeholders,” he added.

The new ship is scheduled to be delivered by June 2021.

This year, Chelsea is scheduled to receive two new ropax vessels as well, with the first one having arrived in April. The 67-meter passenger ferry ship will be used for Chelsea’s Cebu-Surigao-Cebu route.

The other ship, a 98-meter ropax vessel, is expected to arrive in November.

Mr. Damuy had earlier said the fleet expansion of Chelsea is intended to boost the carrier’s dominance in its existing routes and to mount additional routes in new markets that the shipping firm may tap.

Chelsea booked a net income of P139 million in the first quarter, 21% higher from in the same period last year due to an increase in both its shipping and logistics segments. — Denise A. Valdez