Singapore’s Pacific International Lines (PIL) has placed newbuilding orders for the first time in seven years, after seeing its fortunes revived amid the soaring freight market.

Sources at Jiangnan Shipyard, part of the state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corporation, confirmed to The Loadstar that PIL has ordered two 13,000 teu LNG-fuelled ships, with options for another two.

Each ship is priced around $160m and estimated to be delivered in late 2024.

PIL’s last newbuilding orders were in October 2015, when it commissioned seven 11,923 teu ships from Yangzijiang Shipbuilding. Of these, delivered 2018 to 2019, PIL still has two, having sold several to strengthen its balance sheet.

According to Alphaliner, its current fleet is 84 vessels with a combined capacity of just over 268,000 teu – 57 of these, amounting to 136,600 teu, are PIL-owned, with the remaining 27 on charter. The new orders represent 9.5% of its current capacity.

In March last year, PIL, which suffered consecutive net losses from 2018 to 2020, was given a lifeline when Heliconia Capital, a unit of the Singapore government’s investment company Temasek Holdings, acquired a 75% stake, involving a $600m investment, including loans.

PIL’s restructuring also involved converting $45m of bonds into perpetual securities, while cash payments to the bond holders were to be accrued for five years before being released.

However, by the end of last year, PIL had seen its finances turned around and made early repayment of sums owing to the bond holders.

Source: The Loadstar