The Shipping Corp of India (SCI) is set to spend US$1.2 billion ordering or acquiring 44 vessels totalling 1.95 million deadweight tonnes in the next five years. 'This will further strengthen its fleet position in providing efficient and competitive shipping services for the Indian trade,' a spokesman for India's Ministry of Surface Transport said. SCI's profit for 1997-98 was 2.5 billion rupees (about HK$447.9 million), according to provisional figures. This compares with 2.23 billion rupees in the previous year and 3.23 billion rupees in 1995-96. Apart from operating its global shipping services, SCI also operates as a ship-management company, crewing and managing 27 vessels. SCI is one of three marine-based companies under the control of the Ministry of Surface Transport. The others are Cochin Shipyard and the Dredging Corp of India.