Singapore

Singapore-flagged vessel sold on Taobao for S$16.7 million

Singapore-flagged vessel sold on Taobao for S$16.7 million
The Varada Blessing. Screencap from MarinersPlanet.com/YouTube
Published: 6:55 PM, February 22, 2017
Updated: 8:12 PM, February 22, 2017

SINGAPORE — A Singapore-flagged vessel was recently auctioned off on online shopping platform Taobao.com for 81 million yuan (S$16.7 million), the Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday (Feb 21).

The crude oil tanker, which was built in 1993, was sold to Natalia Shipping after receiving 19 offers from six bidders.

The Varada Blessing, which was owned by Singapore-based firm Varada One, had been berthed in the Pearl River estuary following an “admiralty dispute”, Xinhua reported.

The Varada Blessing is reported to be 332m long and 58m wide, with a gross tonnage of 157,000 tonnes. A listing on the Guangzhou Maritime Court said that the vessel had three times the full load drainage volume of a US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, and five times that of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning.

According to ship tracking site VesselFinder.com, Varada Blessing last reported its location on Dec 29, 2015.

Varada Blessing has undergone several ownership changes over the years. It was previously known as the Dubai Titan until Aug 2010, and has also sailed under the names Titan Virgo, Folk Star and Siam.

In Dec 2015, World Maritime News reported that another one of Varada One’s crude oil tankers, the Varada Lalima, had been auctioned off after its owners failed to make payments for operations and maintenance of the vessel.

In a 2015 South China Morning Post report, Taobao.com has been gaining popularity as a platform for selling toxic assets. In recent years, a make-up factory in Jiangsu province and a drug factory in Zhejiang has been sold on the Chinese shopping site.

Xinhua reported that more than 120 courts in Guangdong have registered on Taobao’s sales platform, with online auction sales by the judicial sector in the province jumping from 100 million yuan in 2014 to 10 billion yuan last year.