China Cosco Holdings Co. has ordered eight new cargo ships worth a total of US$312 million, taking advantage of a government subsidy to scrap old vessels and upgrade the fleet, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The state-backed shipping conglomerate agreed to buy four dry-bulk ships of 180,000 deadweight tons each and another four dry-bulk ships of 40,000 deadweight tons each, the report said, citing a company statement. The deal comes after the company ordered a total of nine new cargo ships in two separate transactions in December and January. In December, Beijing unveiled a new subsidy program aimed at encouraging the nation’s ship operators to replace older cargo ships and tankers with new ones, the report noted.
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