Finnish ice-strengthened supramax vessel christened in Vietnam

The first of the two dry cargo ships ordered from Hyundai Mipo by ESL Shipping, part of Aspo Group, has been named. The vessel was christened m/s Arkadia in a ceremony organized in Vietnam. Leena Ruohonen, the spouse of Seppo Ruohonen, CEO of Helsingin Energia, adopted the role of godmother to the vessel. The ships of ESL Shipping have traditionally been named after localities of Helsinki. The current m/s Arkadia is the fourth vessel in the company history to receive this name.

The 56,000 ton vessel belongs to the supramax class. It has built-in cranes, and it is the only ice-strengthened vessel in its class, classified under the Finnish ice class 1A. The vessel will be ready for handover at the turn of the year.

“The world’s first 1A strengthened dry cargo vessel in this class is an ideal solution for the increasing cargo traffic on the Baltic Sea. The new Arkadia will further strengthen our position as the leading dry cargo transport company in Finland and in the entire Baltic Sea area,” says Markus Karjalainen, President of ESL Shipping.

“The new ship is a part of the fleet renewal specified in ESL Shipping’s strategy,” says Aki Ojanen, CEO of Aspo Group. In addition to m/s Arkadia, ESL Shipping has ordered a second ice-strengthened supramax class vessel from the same shipyard, also to be commissioned in the first half of 2012.

ESL Shipping transports dry bulk materials, mainly in the Baltic Sea region. In 2010, it handled approximately 13 million tons. The steel industry’s share of transports was 70 percent, and the energy industry represented 25 percent. The shipping company’s fleet consists of 16 vessels, 12 of which it owns in full. Three are time-chartered and one is partially owned. The total dead weight capacity of the fleet is approximately 210,000 tons.

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