Gulf Navigation Holding, the Dubai based oil and chemical tanking firm, announced plans to add more very large crude carriers (VLCCs) and will sell other ships as it restructures its operations as part of its five year plan.
In the next three years, the company will receive two VLCCs with a capacity to carry two million barrels of oil apiece, the company said in a statement today. It will operate the crude carriers through a new company it is setting up in Saudi Arabia.
Gulf Navigation said it would create the new venture with GCC partners with a capital of 1.66 billion Saudi riyals (Dh1.62bn), with plans to go public. The Saudi company "is intended to go public when authorised," it said. "The kingdom was selected due its stature in the crude oil market, as the world's biggest exporter and user of VLCC tankers."
Last month Gulf Navigation bought a second VLCC from Frontline, a major oil tanker based in Bermuda.
Plans to acquire an additional two VLCCs will bring its fleet of VLCCs to four.
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The company sustained a loss of Dh236.8 million (US$64.5m) last year partly due to its fleet of six "Probo" ships, which are designed to carry either oil products or dry cargo. As a result the company said it was preparing to dispose of the Probo vessels. "Gulf Navigation will sell the six Probo ships to avoid future losses, as indicated by its own studies," it said.
"Our five-year plan reflects a forward-thinking strategy that will take Gulf Navigation Holdings to a heightened level of global competitiveness," said Abdullah al Shuraim, the chairman of Gulf Navigation. "We have multiplied our crude carrying capacity four times to equal the crude export of Saudi Arabia for one day. We also plan to increase the VLCC fleet to 9 ships by the year 2015, a capacity of 18 million barrels."
Earnings from shipping Middle East crude oil to Asia, the world's busiest route for supertankers, last week rose to the highest in more than three months on increased cargo volumes.
Daily returns on the Saudi Arabia-to-Japan voyage jumped 35 per cent to $42,285 on Feb. 11, the highest since Nov. 2, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange.