Ardmore Shipping Ltd manages the activities of the Ardmore Shipping Group, which is engaged in the ownership and operation of chemical and products tankers trading on a worldwide basis. The Irish registered company runs its global fiscal operations from the group's head-office based in Cork.
Like the existing fleet, the newbuilds are also to be registered in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, a republic nation in the Pacific Ocean. The Micronesian nation of atolls and islands attained independence 25 years ago under a Compact of Free Association with the United States.
Last month, two vessels entered service for the company, the Ardmore Centurion (2005 / 28,987 dwt) formerly the Elisa, is to date the company's only joint chemical and products tanker. The second December debutant was the slightly older, Ardmore Seatrader (2002 / 47,141 dwt) a products tanker, formerly the St. Georg. In fact both vessels were handed over within a 12-hour timeframe and on opposite sides of the world.
When the second newbuild is completed in 2013, this will bring to three the number of chemical and product tankers in service, with the Ardmore Centurion, which was also built in South Korea but at the STX Shipyard Jinhae. The Ardmore Seatrader, built by the Onomichi shipyard in Japan, now forms the third product-only tanker, out of the four-strong mixed vessel type fleet.
This leaves the two remaining product tankers, the Ardmore Seamaster (2004 / 45,840 dwt) which entered service in October. The vessel was the former Formosa 12 and was also built in Japan but at the Shin Kurushima shipyard. She will be employed under a long-term charter to D/S Norden of Copenhagen.
The last vessel of the Ardmore Shipping Group fleet, is the Ardmore Seafarer (2004 / 45,744 dwt) which entered service in July. The former Zoa Express, was completed at the Minami-Nippon Usuki shipyard in Japan. She was re-named in honour of the Ardmore's seafarers and in recognition of 2010 as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Year of the Seafarer.
Interestingly that in the Year of the Seafarer, in particular for the welfare of the crew of the Ardmore Seafarer, she came under the threat of pirates!... While on route from Dar Es Salaam to Fujairah the vessel was attacked by the pirates, 1,000 (nm) nautical miles off Somalia and some 500 nm off the coast of India. Thanks to quick and decisive actions, Captain Benamu and his crew evaded capture, ensuring that the pirates were unable to seize control of the 179m (length) X 32m (breadth) vessel. To see a photograph of this vessel click the link HERE