Oman Shipping to get five new vessels
Monday, 10 September 2012 | 00:00
Five new vessels are expected to join the state-owned Oman Shipping Company's fleet in the next two years, taking the total strength of the fleet to 46 from 41 now.
These are three very large ore carriers (VLOCs) for Vale, one very large crude carrier (VLCC) and an LNG carrier, Tarik Mohamed Al Junaidi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Oman Shipping Company, told Times of Oman in an exclusive interview.
These new vessels are under various stages of design and construction at shipyards in China and South Korea.
"Just recently we received the first VLOC, which was chartered to Vale. We are expecting another one by the end of this month and the remaining two by November and December, respectively,- added Al Junaidi.
All the four VLOCs, each with a capacity of 400,000 tonnes, are on a 20-year charter agreement with Vale for transporting ore from Brazil to Oman for their Sohar pelletising project.
Another VLCC is expected to join the fleet in October 2012, while the LNG vessel (which was converted from a VLCC) will be delivered in August, 2014.
The new VLCC and conversion of LNG vessel are carried out by the Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, while all VLOCs are being built in China by Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries Group.
He said Oman Shipping is looking at opportunities to provide ships for the proposed Duqm Refinery, which is likely to be ready by 2017.
"We are very much keen to work with the proposed refinery to provide them with vessels for exporting refined products. But it is at a very early stage. The products and destinations have to be taken into account while selecting the type of vessels, he added.
He said Oman Shipping's fleet expansion is driven by the requirements from within the country. "We do not acquire new vessels, if we do not have requirements (demand). The whole idea of Oman Shipping is to support import and export requirements of Oman.
He also said that the shipping industry is not yet fully recovered from the slackness, which started in the aftermath of global financial crisis. "We have different segments in the shipping market. Most of these segments have not fully recovered. The only sector that is booming is LNG.
Oman Shipping has a mix of high-tech fleet spanning a diverse range of VLCCs, LNG carriers, product tankers, multi-purpose vessels, bulk carriers and container ships.
Starting with LNG transportation, Oman Shipping's expansion was very fast-paced and broad-based to cater to the needs of Oman's oil and gas, petrochemical and other industries.
Of the 41 vessels, 30 are owned by Oman Shipping and 11 are charted ships. The fleet's total tonnage is 8.0MT, while the average age of a vessel is two to three years.
Source: Times of Oman
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