ALGIERS- The Algerian Maritime Transport Group (GATMA) has just completed, with the entry into service on Wednesday of the ship Djanet, the second phase of the reinforcement of the national maritime fleet dedicated to the transport of goods, indicated Saturday to the APS the DG of the Group, Smain Larbi Ghomri.
Before Djanet, received at the Port of Algiers on June 8, the ship Cirta had been received on May 31 at the same port. These are two container ships (1,575 twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEU) each) acquired on behalf of CNAN MED, a subsidiary of the group.
The ship Djanet left the port of Algiers last Wednesday to begin its operation, after a series of checks and controls for its final Algerianization, said Ghomri, adding that the ship is expected to load 900 TEU from the Italian port (Marina Carrara) and Spanish (Valencia) to return to Algiers as part of regular lines of the subsidiary CNAN MED.
As for the ship Cirta, it will complete the regulatory controls and will be put into operation before the end of June between the ports of Valencia, Barcelona (Spain) and Oran, adds the same official.
Marking the completion of the second phase of strengthening the national fleet, the acquisition of these two vessels has aimed "the strengthening of the national fleet in container ships to minimize, if not eliminate the chartering of foreign vessels in foreign currency," said the director general.
It will also give "more market share to the national tool in this segment of transport that continues to grow and take the lead over other types of transport, given its very economic returns and the speed of treatment of this type of ship at international ports," he explained.
To this end, he said, "the containerization of global shipping, must encourage us to adapt to the minimum dependence and maximum autonomy possible, especially in relation to the import of strategic products and basic needs.
Increasing the market share of the national flag
It is within this framework that the Group and its subsidiaries have relaunched the investment plan decided by the government in 2011/2012, by acquiring initially, between 2014 and 2017, ten (10) vessels with a capacity of between 9,000 tons and 12,000 tons of general cargo and a container ship of 1,700 TEU, divided between the subsidiary CNAN NORTH, with 7 general cargo vessels and the subsidiary CNAN MED with two general cargo vessels and a container ship.
These acquisitions have certainly given more space to vessels of the national flag which was "completely absent" on the import market and even less that of export, after the bankruptcy of the former CNAN, but its share has not exceeded 5 to 6% to date, deplores the official.
Thus, as part of its missions to implement the national sectoral policy in the field of maritime transport and strengthening the fleet of the national flag, the Group, in coordination with its subsidiaries of shipping, has "been able to develop in recent years, and since its inception in 2016, the revival of investment in the acquisition of vessels to give the national fleet more space and market share," according to Mr. Ghomri.
It is thus, part of an approach to "buy the ships it takes at the time it takes" to establish the Government's policy in encouraging the national production tool and reducing dependence on third parties for what imports of goods from the country by sea, and which constitute, he recalls more than 90% of imports through the 10 national ports.
In this wake, Mr. Ghomri explained that his Group is currently focusing its investment policy on niches that can secure the country in terms of autonomy for the import of strategic products and also aims to reduce dependence on shipping imports from foreign shipowners and the reduction of foreign currency expenditure of the country for the shipping service.
This is done, according to him, by strengthening the presence on the market of proximity (Mediterranean) and northern Europe, but also by helping to strengthen and develop the bases of the trades of maritime transport, in terms of human investment, through massive recruitment and training in this rich and multidisciplinary field with the assistance of national maritime schools and specialized institutes.
In addition, the next phase of investment planned by the Group, from the end of the current year, until the end of 2023, will aim to acquire bulk carriers / grain carriers, the purchase of new containers to renew the current fleet and strengthen, said Ghomri.
It also provides for the acquisition of other container ships to "better serve" the distant distances in northern Europe, where the national fleet, through the subsidiary CNAN NORTH, is present with ships of the general cargo type and this for years, ensuring the import of strategic products and raw materials, such as medicines and milk powder.
Algeria press service