NYK has been working to strengthen its business operations with overseas power suppliers and steel mills, and the Tokyo-based firm now has more than 20 long-term contracts with such companies, often using Capesize bulkers for transport.

To enhance overseas business operations, NYK created the Capesize and Panamax Bulker Team in April this year by uniting the overseas business sections of the company’s Capesize Bulker Group and Steaming Coal Group.

Since then, NYK Bulkship, in cooperation with NYK, has invigorated business operations in Europe by employing post-Panamax carriers, which have often been used to service power suppliers in Japan. It was these upgraded operations which led to the current contract agreement with Enel.

Enel, the second largest power supplier in Europe, is proactively expanding its business overseas. Previously, the company had been using Panamax carriers for charter contracts because the hulls of these carriers are suitable for landing ports that have water-depth limitations, such as the Enel power plant port.

The company expects coal imports to increase upon the opening of a new thermal power plant by 2010. The new post-Panamax carriers to be used for this service, according to NYK, will conform to water-depth limitations, be more economically efficient, and offer an approximately 20,000 ton increase in loading capacity.