Syscorp builds on fleet, buys vessels worth RM100mil
By Jack Wong
KUCHING: Shin Yang Shipping Corp Bhd (Syscorp) has acquired more than 20 vessels, mostly container ships and chemical tankers, from financially-troubled Swee Joo Bhd.
Swee Joo, one of Sarawak's oldest and most established shipping firms, is under voluntary liquidation due to insolvency.
Sharehoplders voted to wind up Swee Joo five months ago after the group failed to resolve total borrowings of some RM460mil.
The fleet include four chemical tankers, which were previously used to transport crude palm oil and products.
“We are now doing maintenance and upgrading works for most of the acquired vessels. It will take between six and eight months to complete.
“Some of the vessels' engines have broken down and we have to replace them,” Capt Ting told StarBiz yesterday.
He expects the maintenance and upgrading works to cost around RM50mil.
Syscorp has put three other acquired (Swee Joo) vessels into service.
With the acquisition, Capt Ting said Syscorp now owned and operated a fleet of more than 300 vessels, most of them cargo ships.
Syscorp's shipping operations cover both Malaysian and international waters, from South-East Asia region to East-Asia region and Far-East region to Gulf region in the Middle East countries.
Last year, Syscorp embarked on a RM266mil fleet expansion programme that involves the construction 11 vessels of different types. They comprise two cargo vessels, five units of 37m anchor-handling tugs, two 23.8m tugboats and two pneumetic cement ships.
The expansion is due for completion by end-2012.
Besides shipping, Syscorp, whose parent company is the diversified Shin Yang group, is into shipbuilding and repair business. It has two shipyards in Kuala Baram, Miri and in Bintulu, which can build vessels up to 15,000 deadweight tonnes.
The group owns and operates a third shipyard in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Miri-based Shin Yang group, headed by Tan Sri Ling Chiong Ho, is involved in a vast logging and downstream timber processing business and is Sarawak's largest plywood manufacturer. The group controls Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd and is into property development, construction, quarrying and trading businesses.
Capt Ting said the new UAE shipyard was doing maintenance works for mostly Syscorp's fleet of vessels.
When asked about the shipping industry's outlook, he said with the exception of oil and gas industry, shipping rates, especially cargo transportation, were still poor.
He said over-capacity was still a problem as many new ships under previous orders had come into the market.
Capt Ting said the shipbuilding industry was also facing tough times.