Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited (GE Shipping), the India's largest private sector shipping company was incorporated in 3rd August of the year 1948. The Company has two main businesses, shipping and offshore. The shipping business is involved in transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, gas and dry bulk commodities. The offshore business services to the oil companies in carrying out offshore exploration and production activities, through its wholly owned subsidiary Greatship (India) Limited. The shipping business has been awarded the ISO 9001: 2000 standard certification by DNV.
The time was 1950. It was soon after World War II. Great Eastern, barely two years old, was the first Indian shipping company to ordered two coastal cargo ships from Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company, Kobe, Japan. In 1956, the company acquired its first oil tanker, it was also India's first, as a result it opened up new avenues for business. During the same year GE Shipping entered into an affreightment contract to transport 60,000 tonnes of iron ore from India to Japan. In 1957, the Company built its then largest dry bulk cargo vessel, a 13,000-dwt ship, named Jag Laxmi. Great Eastern started its regular liner services to carry general cargo from the Pacific coast of the US and Canada to India during the year 1962 and also in the identical year the company bought offshore supply vessels. In 1972, Great Eastern became the first shipping company to build an obo (ore-bulk-oil) carrier. The Company ordered 3 such vessels from Sweden. During the year 1975, Great Eastern started its own training academy. It was the first private shipping company to do so. In the year 1987, GE Shipping made a joint venture company for owning oil drilling rig and an oil-drilling barge. The Company acquired four ships in the year 1988 and renamed then as Jag Vijay, Jag Rani, Jag Rahat and Jag Kala. After a year, in 1989, GE Shipping acquired three more bulk carriers and renamed them as M.V. Jag Ratna, M.V. Jag Vikas and M.V. Jag Ravi. Another bulk carrier was renamed as M.V. Jag Rashmi.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) was signed to purchase five number of Offshore Supply Vessels (OSV) with a view to cater both ONGC and Oil India Ltd. The Company acquired 5 more ships in the year 1990 of which one was a bulk carrier and the other 4 were offshore supply vessels. In the period 1991, the real estate business was in thunder level; hence GE Shipping had entered the property business in the same period. By way of the merger of GAL Offshore Services Ltd in the year 1991, the offshore division of the company commissioned 3 distinct activities, such as Operation of tugs comprising offshore supply vessels, harbor tugs and anchor handling tugs, Oil drilling and Offshore constructions. During the year 1992, the company was the first Indian Company to acquire a tanker and was also the first to engage in overseas tramp trade on a large scale. In 1992, A H Bhiwandiwalla & Company along with its two subsidiaries Dhirvijay Investment Company and MDSV Trading & Investment Company were merged with Great Eastern. The Company entered into contract for the acquisition of 2 Aframax tankers from Samsung Heavy Industries Company Ltd, Korea in the year 1997. GE Shipping made a joint venture with Singapore Technologies Construction Pte Ltd to build executive apartment hotels, convention service centres and multiplex plazas. During the year 1998, the company joined hands with Shipping Corporation of India and Varun Shipping and Great Eastern Company (Gesco) to form a `pool' to transport liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imported on free-on-board (FoB) basis.
GE Shipping entered into a joint venture agreement amongst Quatar General Petroleum Corporation (QGPC) and U B Air Pvt Ltd and united Helicharters Pvt Ltd in the year 2002. In the year 2003, the company placed a huge order for 45,500 metric tons new building product tanker with Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co. Ltd, South Korea and also in the same year GE Shipping entered into new building contract for a 159,000 DWT Suexma crude Carrier with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd. Also signed a contract for new building Platform Supply Vessel (PSV). The Company acquired five single hull Aframax tankers between July and December of the year 2003. During the financial year 2003-04,the company ventured into the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) sector for the first time. During the year 2004, Grate Eastern signed a contract to acquire a 1983 built geared Handymax Dry Bulk Carrier 37092 dwt vessel built in Japan, simultaneously sold the 1998 built, 2137 dwt mini bulk carrier 'GE 4. GE Shipping won the crude supply order from MRPL in the year 2005 and also acquired 26-pc stake in USL.
During September 2005 the company has decided to demerge its offshore business consisting of drilling services, marine logistics, marine construction and port/terminal services into a separate company, Great Offshore Ltd with effect from 1st April 2005. Greatship (India) Limited (Subsidiary of the company) had incorporated two wholly owned subsidiaries viz. Greatship Holdings B.V. in November 22nd of the year 2006 and Greatship Global Energy Services Pte Ltd in October 23rd of the year 2006. The Company acquired two 2000 built double hull Suezmax tankers, `Jag Lakshita' and `Jag Lateef' in September 2007. In November of the year 2007, Greatship Global Offshore Services Pte Ltd., the wholly owned subsidiary of Greatship (India) Limited (GIL) (Subsidiary of the company), had upgraded the two vessels ordered on Mazagon Dock Limited to Multi Support Vessels (MSVs).
The Company contracted to sell two of its double hull Medium Range (MR) product tankers `Jag Panna' (37,145 dwt) & `Jag Payal' (37,159 dwt) during February of the year 2008 and also contracted to sell its single hull General Purpose (GP) product tanker 'Jag Prayog'. The 1982 built, 29,990-dwt vessels in June of the same year 2008. Greatship (India) Limited (GIL), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Great Eastern Shipping Company Ltd placed an order for two state-of-the-art deep water 150 TBP Anchor Handling, Towage & Supply Vessels on Drydocks World Singapore in July of the year 2008. GE Shipping signed a contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries Ltd, South Korea for the construction of two Suezmax crude carriers of approx 158,000 dwt each during the month of July in 2008.
Grate Eastern committed with innovative and lots of technical agreements, in addition, it has a committed capital expenditure of USD 740 Million (approx Rs.3182 cr) for 19 more assets. These include 2 PSV's, 8 Multipurpose Platform Supply & Support Vessels, 2 MSVs, 6 AHTSV's and a 350 ft Jack up Rig. These assets are likely to be delivered between FY09 and FY11.