ABU DHABI: AD Ports Group, a leading facilitator of global trade, logistics, and industry, in collaboration with KazMorTransFlot (KMTF), national shipping company of Kazakhstan, fully-owned by the national Kazakhstan oil company – KazMunayGas (KMG), has announced the acquisition and commencement of operations of two state-of-the-art vessels designed for the transportation of Kazakhstan's oil across the Caspian Sea.
A naming ceremony marking this significant milestone took place in Aktau, Kazakhstan, attended by a number of esteemed guests and dignitaries including Nurlan Nogayev, Akim of Mangistau Region; Dr. Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Alariqi, Ambassador of the UAE to Kazhakstan; Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group; and Magzum Mirzagalyev, Chairman of the Management Board of KMG, underscoring the importance of this occasion.
The two oil tankers were named Liwa and Taraz - after ancient cities in the UAE and Kazakhstan, respectively, and have been acquired under AD Ports Group’s joint venture with KazMorTransFlot (KMTF) - Caspian Integrated Maritime Solutions (CIMS), to provide offshore and shipping services for commodity exporters in the Caspian, as announced in December 2022.
The two vessels represent a combined investment of US$35 million, and are specifically tailored for the Caspian's shallow draft, with specifications to meet the stringent requirements of international oil companies. The vessels are also equipped with inert gas systems, a crucial step in ensuring safety and compliance with modern standards.
The inert gas systems onboard are not merely a technological upgrade; they signify a paramount commitment to the operational safety of this class of ship. This advancement aligns with international regulations and demonstrates the industry's proactive stance on safety and security during oil transportation.
Operating along the strategic route across the Caspian Sea, the vessels will serve as shuttle tankers, undertaking consecutive voyages to move Kazakhstan's oil to Azerbaijan. This service contributes significantly to the diversification of the transportation routes for oil for onward delivery to the world through the Mediterranean or Black Sea, improving Kazakhstan's global trade footprint.
This latest investment brings the total number of oil tankers operating under the KMTF agreement to five, following the acquisition of three Aframax tankers earlier in 2023.
Capt. Ammar Mubarak Al Shaiba CEO – Maritime Shipping Cluster, AD Ports Group, said, "I am delighted to attend this momentous occasion with our partners in Kazakhstan. This investment in advanced vessels equipped with inert gas systems marks a strategic milestone for AD Ports Group. As we expand our footprint into shipping and global networks, we are not only ensuring the safe and efficient transport of Kazakhstan's oil but also setting a precedent to guide safety and security advances in the maritime industry. This move symbolises our unwavering commitment to excellence, safety, and sustainable practices as we navigate towards a brighter future for global shipping and trade."
Aidar Orzhanov, General Director, KMTF, the National Maritime Shipping Company of Kazakhstan, commented, “We are implementing this project together with our strategic partner AD Ports Group in accordance with the task of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan K.K.Tokayev, to create alternative routes for transportation of Kazakhstani oil. This will allow us to efficiently, and safely transport Kazakhstani oil in Caspian Sea for further shipment to international markets. We believe that this is only the first step of our long-term cooperation with AD Ports Group.”
These vessels play a pivotal role in AD Ports Group's strategic expansion into this crucial maritime corridor and strengthen the Group's focus on shipping operations and commitment to facilitating the efficient movement of goods and resources across a broader global network.