Two new VLCCs to join Oman Shipping fleet

The new crude carrier is due to be delivered within a week


Oman Shipping Company (OSC), the wholly government-owned maritime transportation services provider, is set to shortly add a new Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) to its expanding and well-diversified fleet of commercial vessels.

According to a high-level official, the new crude carrier is due to be delivered within a week. This will be followed by delivery of a second VLCC before the end of 2021 – additions that will reinforce Oman Shipping’s current international ranking among the Top 10 ship-owners of VLCCs in the world.

Ibrahim al Nadhairi (pictured), Acting CEO – Oman Shipping Company & Oman Drydock Company, said the new buildings are set to bolster the state-owned fleet to 56 vessels, up from 54 presently.

Participating in the 5th Annual Maritime Standard Tanker Conference on Tuesday, he said the company has come a long way since its establishment in 2003 with only one LNG vessel. OSC is also ranked 29th globally in terms of the size of its LNG vessels in its fleet, and 55th as a container operator, he noted.

Speaking about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the company’s operations, the Acting CEO said OSC began “thinking out of the box” in response to the challenges posed by the crisis.

“Although we were concerned about the pandemic, we decided to respond in a positive way. We changed strategies by adopting a positive approach and thinking outside the box, and the first thing we did is to integrate OSC and Oman Drydock Company. Although they relate to two different industries, we looked at the shared services and key roles.”

“We also took the opportunity to offload some unnecessary overheads to reduce cost, and took advantage of the market to expand our tanker business as well as our dry cargo and container business,” he further noted.

Posting significant growth during this period was OSC’s wholly-owned container business, Oman Container Line (OCL), said Al Nadhairi. The service now connects all of Oman’s commercial gateways with ports in the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, as well as a facility in Iraq.

Following the slump in the international tanker business triggered by dramatic reductions in the crude oil shipments, OSC took the opportunity to send its tankers to Oman Drydock’s ship repair yard at Duqm to be fitted with scrubbers and wastewater treatment systems in compliance with emission and effluent control standards mandated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

As many as 13 vessels of the Group have been fitted with scrubbers so far this year, 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, dedicated to driving the goal of the group’s new container business.

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