Oman Shipping seeks to expand fleet with ships built by China
Oman Shipping Company (OSC) has ambitions to expand its fleet and is exploring options with its Chinese partners, the company’s CEO Michael Jorgensen said in an interview with CGTN.
The company recently held a naming ceremony for the latest addition to the company’s dry bulk fleet, the Jabal Shams. The ceremony marked the official handover of the vessel from Chinese shipbuilder Zhoushan Changhong Shipyard to OSC. Four dry cargo vessels due to be delivered to OSC this year will increase the company’s offering in the dry bulk market in response to growing customer demand.
Jorgensen said cooperation with Chinese partners will help with his ambition of expanding by 40 percent by 2023.
“I would say we had a very good experience. We win the market… We know now by experience that the Chinese are very good at building dry cargo ships in this particular size and also middle size containers. So we’re pretty sure that there will be more discussions with Chinese counterparts in the future,” the CEO told CGTN.
Last year, trade between China and Oman grew by 40 percent to 22 billion U.S. dollars. Oman has traditionally been dependent on oil and gas. Trade with China is part of its economic diversification, Jorgensen noted.
“You can see that strategy in the mind right now is to transform the economy. The country wants to move into other sectors, focusing on logistics and that’s where Oman shipping fits very well,” he said.
As to the ongoing China-U.S. trade dispute, the CEO said that “shipping is a global business. So we prefer to go free float.”
Jorgensen was also confident that Oman can stay away from conflicts in the region. Oman’s geographic location is one advantage, he said. “The other advantage of Oman is that it’s a neutral country. It’s not part of political conflicts and not part of religious fighting in the area. So it’s a good position to be in. And Oman has always played neutral in these matters,” the CEO explained.