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Wed 23 May 2007 06:01 PM

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GEM appoints new chairman

Gulf Energy Maritime hands chairmanship to Khadem Abdulla Al Qubaisi of IPIC.

Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) has handed over the chairmanship of Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM) to International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), the Abu Dhabi-based oil and chemicals foreign investment group.

According to shareholders' agreement, the chairmanship - held by ENOC's iconic Hussain Sultan since GEM's inception in 2004 - rotates every three years between IPIC and ENOC.

"Hussain Sultan's three-year tenure as GEM's chairman saw the company achieve global recognition within the maritime industry. He has handed over his responsibilities to IPIC's Khadem Abdulla Al Qubaisi and will continue on the board to provide valuable strategic counsel and advice," said Ahmed Hareb Al Falahi, CEO of GEM, the Middle East's largest independent commercial product tanker operator.

"Al Qubaisi is globally recognised for his investment and financial acumen within the oil and gas industry. His experience as a board member of several top-notch companies including Borealis, Hyundai Oilbank and Pak Arab Refinery will propel GEM's growth plan to enter the global top ten tanker operator list," added Al Falahi.

"Al Qubaisi's chairmanship complements GEM's global role in the energy transportation sector."

Sultan's term as the founder chairman saw the fledgling energy transporter grow over 800% in the last three years to become a US$ 1.1 billion company. The fleet more than tripled from six vessels in 2004 to a current order book of 19 with revenues and profits exceeding all targets.

"We look up to Al Qubaisi to build on the solid foundation laid down by Hussain Sultan who took GEM from just an idea into a world-class award-winning company with global recognition. Al Qubaisi's invaluable guidance will steer us through the next few years of expansion," Al Falahi said.

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