The 35,000t floating terminal MV Corregidora, a former bulk carrier converted by Cemex back in 2001 and used for some time in Tenerife, Spain is reportedly back at work in Novorossisk port following a rather quiet winter on station in the port.
The vessel arrived there from Turkey with a full load of 35,000t of bulk cement from Akcansa’s Canakkale works, Turkey in the autumn of 2008. However, with the ship’s arrival hitting the Russian market downturn it actually took until January 2009 for this first cargo to be discharged and rather surprisingly it was all sold in bulk to waiting road tankers. Then in February a small 5000t ship reportedly arrived with another bulk load of Turkish cement with this second transfer handled by the Corregidora’s own unloading facilities.
The Corregidora is now apparently under charter to HC Trading for this Russian import operation with Russia’s OJSC Mechel group as the local partner. Day to day operations of the ship in the port are being handled by OOO AlfaInterStroy (AIST) and as a sign that things are starting to move, the quayside has been fitted with a new rail car weighing system while the ship has restarted its own bagging operations – with reports of a first sale of some 15t recently.
Interestingly, the ship has been allocated the former export loading pier for Novorossisk Cement which stopped exporting cement rather abruptly in 2007 when domestic market demand for cement provided a strong cashflow incentive for Novorossisk’s new owners, fronted by rising oligarch Lev Kvitnoy and his GazMetallProject group team. With news that Novorossisk could be back looking for a resumption of its own cement export business later this summer, the Corregidora might have to look for a new berth, that is if HCT and Mechel can make this rather low-key operation the success they initially hoped for.