By Andy Sambidge
Gulf Navigation Holding signs contract for vessels capable of carrying 2m crude oil barrels each
Dubai-based shipping company Gulf Navigation Holding on Wednesday said it has signed a deal with a Chinese shipyard to build two super tankers.
The contract was inked with Zhoushan Jinhaiwan Shipyard of Shanghai and will see the Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) delivered in December 2012 and May 2013.
The sister ships have a carrying capacity of more than two million crude oil barrels each, the shipping firm said in a statement.
Gulf Navigation Holding also signed two agreements with Grand China Logistics Holding (Group) to charter the vessels for 10 years each upon delivery.
The charter agreement is worth nearly $285m, the company added.
The new vessels will increase Gulf Navigation's VLCC fleet to four and its carrying capacity to eight million barrels.
The company said it plans to expand the VLCC fleet to nine vessels (18 million barrels) by 2015, as part of a five-year strategy.
The plan will also see the expansion of the chemical fleet and the listing of subsidiaries in international stock exchanges.
The signing of the VLCC building and charter contracts gives Gulf Navigation a foothold in the Chinese market, which is witnessing a huge surge in oil consumption.
China's crude oil demand is forecast to increase to 10.5 million barrels per day in 2015 from 8.1 million barrels a day in 2009.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.