ASCO commissioned the first Handysize class vessel

17:15 - 27.05.2024

May 27, Fineko/ Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO) welcomed first Handysize type vessel into its ranks. Thuswise, ASCO entered a new segment of dry cargo transportation. According to the order of President Ilham Aliyev name of our historical land Khojaly was given to the vessel.

To the sounds of our national anthem in the People's Republic of China, tricolor State Flag of Azerbaijan was hoisted aboard the vessel marking the official commencement of operations for “Khojaly”.

Acquisition of “Khojaly” falls within the Strategic Development Program of the Shipping Company, which was adopted in accordance with the tasks and recommendations of President Ilham Aliyev and approved by ASCO's Supervisory Board. The program holds a special focus on expanding the geographic scope of national shipping beyond the Caspian Sea, increasing cargo transportation capacity in international waters and financing investment activities related to acquiring larger vessels for cargo transportation in foreign waters.

The path forward carried out in this direction is cooperation of ASCO with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to finance dry cargo “Handysize” type vessel purchase project. Considering corporate governance and accountability system established at ASCO in accordance with international principles, ensuring transparency of operations and sound financial position, the Bank decided to finance the project without a government guarantee. Thus, 70% of the financing for the purchase of the vessel was facilitated through the loan provided by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and 30% by ASCO's internal resources.

Carrying capacity of “Khojaly” vessel is 38,593 tons. This is approximately 8 times greater than carrying capacity of existing ASCO bulk carriers. The length of the vessel is 180 meters, width 30 meters, side height 15 meters, draft 10.47 meters, maximum speed 15.7 meters. With its maximum lifting capacity, its waterline allows it easily enter many shallow water harbors.

It should be noted that the first voyage of “Khojaly” vessel after loading is from Bukpyung port in South Korea to Portland port in United States of America. Thuswise, “Khojaly” will become the first vessel to enter American waters under the flag of independent Azerbaijan.