Refinery and mineral projects to buoy Oman Shipping’s growth

Oman Shipping is also evaluating opportunities to provide maritime transportation services

Image used for illustrative purpose. Boats Moored At Harbor Against Clear Sky.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Boats Moored At Harbor Against Clear Sky.

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Oman Shipping Company (OSC), the Sultanate’s high-seas maritime transportation services provider, says it is keenly eyeing emerging opportunities in a number of strategic areas of the country’s economy to drive business growth, as well as diversify its expanding fleet.

According to a top official of the wholly government-owned shipping line, a string of mega developments due to come to fruition in the coming years, alongside other economic initiatives, will spark a strong uptick in cargo volumes that OSC is set to capitalise on.

“Oman is a promising local market, offering different products in different areas,” said Ibrahim al Nadhairi, Acting CEO of the recently integrated Oman Shipping Company & Oman Drydock Company. “At OSC, we want to capitalise on this market; we see growth in a number of sectors — Oil & Gas, chemicals, dry cargo, and logistics.”

Particularly promising for OSC is the Duqm Refinery project — a joint venture of OQ of Oman and Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) — which is set to double Oman’s refining capacity when it comes on stream in 2023, said Al Nadhairi.

Participating in the 5th Annual Maritime Standard Tanker Conference held last week, the official also listed a number of emerging opportunities that will fuel OSC’s business growth.

“New gas discoveries, the consolidation under way of the mining sector, and increased connectivity between ports (represent business opportunities). It will also allow us to diversify our fleet; we have a portfolio of segments targeted at these businesses. We are building new ships or (acquiring) second hand ones for the different segments of our business.”

OSC, part of Asyad Group, currently has a well-diversified fleet of 54 modern vessels comprising LNG carriers, LPG carriers, Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), product tankers, Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOCs), dry cargo carriers, and container ships.

Two new VLCCs are set to join the fleet over the next two years, bolstering its size to 56 vessels.

Beyond the Sultanate, Oman Shipping is also evaluating opportunities to provide maritime transportation services to companies operating across the wider region, said Al Nadhairi.

“We continue to explore additional cargo opportunities, not only in the Gulf, but also the region and globally. This also helps us a lot in triangulating opportunities and maximising our cargo base.”

Triangulation – the technique of optimising usage of shipping capacity – has contributed to a 30 per cent enhancement of the company’s dry bulk business, according to the Acting CEO.

The practice has been successfully employed in OSC’s dry bulk operations between Oman and Australia, he said.

Oman Shipping Company is owned around 80 per cent by Oman Global Logistics Group (Asyad) with OQ (formerly Oman Oil & Orpic Group) and Oman Rail sharing the balance 20 per cent of the equity in the company.

The group has three subsidiaries: Oman Charter Company, which oversees the group’s commercial operations; Oman Ship Management Company (OSMC), which provides technical management services; and Oman Container Line to support its new container business.

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