One of Europe’s largest bulk carrier operator Szczecin-based Polsteam is undergoing a restructuring programme. Polish Steamship Co is looking to order more newbuildings. In 2019, Polsteam will take delivery of the final four (4) bulk carriers in an earlier newbuilding programme. Delivery will include several bulk carriers abandoned at Chinese Shipyards by the previous Polsteam’s board. Abandoned bulk carriers’ price tags were since renegotiated. In 2017, Polish government appointed Pawel Brzezicki as the new CEO for state-owned company. Pawel Brzezicki will try to stabilize Polsteam. Polsteam is Poland’s largest shipping company which is headquartered at Szczecin, Poland. Polsteam has a mixed fleet of 61 ships of 2.2 million DWT. Polsteam fleet comprise of 8 panamax, 48 handysize bulk carriers, 1 sulphur carrier and 4 ferries. Pawel Brzezicki will seek opportunities to build more bulk carriers at Chinese Shipyards. Previously, Pawel Brzezicki was working as GM (General Manager) of Polsteam between 1998 and 2005. According to Pawel Brzezicki, Polsteam lost about $60 million in advance payments which had been recovered in the course of renegotiating cancelled orders at China’s Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and Yangfan Shipyard. $60 million has been used to finish some of those bulk carriers at the shipyards. 70% of newbuildings from the earlier investment programme will be completed. 12 bulk carriers (38K DWT) were booked at Yangfan Shipyard and 6 lake fitted handysize bulk carriers (36K DWT) at Yangzijiang Shipyard. Polsteam’s earlier programme involved 38 bulk carriers in Chinese Shipyards. According to Polsteam’s CEO Pawel Brzezicki many of the previous Polsteam’ managers were responsible for newbuilding cancellations in 2016. These managers quit with the threat of bankruptcy looming. Polish Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation appointed Pawel Brzezicki to take charge as CEO of Polsteam. After Pawel Brzezicki was appointed as new CEO in 2017, Polsteam turned into profit. At the beginning of 2019, two (2) of the latest abandoned bulk carriers to be delivered were lake-fitted sisterships 36K DWT MV Jamno and MV Narie from Yangzijiang Shipyard. In total, five (5) newbuilding bulk carriers were delivered in 2018. Szczecin based Polsteam is now in the position where it can restart ordering newbuildings. Polsteam has no intention to sell any bulk carriers. Polsteam’s fleet is relatively young, with an average age of eight (8) years. During CEO Pawel Brzezicki’s tenure, no ships were sold and ships that were circulated for sale by Pawel Brzezicki’s predecessors have been pulled from the S&P (sale-and-purchase) market and continued trading in Polsteam’s fleet. According to CEO Pawel Brzezicki, challenge ahead of Polsteam is finding reputable shipyards in China which are willing to build specialist lake-fitted bulk carriers with a high DWT. In the past Polsteam worked with Chinese Shipyards like Yangfan Shipyard, Yangzijiang Shipyard, Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering and Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding Heavy Industry. Great Lakes is an important market for Polsteam and
serious volumes of cargoes, mainly agricultural products, are moving out of the Great Lakes. Furthermore, Fednav, Canfornav and Navibulgar have lake-fitted bulk carriers which are competing at Great Lakes. Lake-fitted fleet is ageing and will have to be replaced. Polsteam has been restructured and now fully financed profitable company.