Iran is seeking an investment worth USD 2.5 billion to upgrade its oil tanker fleet as it gears up to restore pre-sanction shipping links.
“To expand Iran’s oil tanker activities, USD 2.5 billion will be invested in it,” Ali Akbar Safaei, managing director of National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), is quoted as saying by the Mehr News Agency of Iran.
Safaei added that the company will pursue a five-year strategic plan together with an investment program in various sectors that will define the steps to be taken to attain this goal. The investment is needed in order for the company’s fleet to be able to compete with international counterparts that have predominantly more modern and younger ships.
Despite this, NITC has already managed to rent out some of its ships to foreign firms, Safaei pointed out.
NITC head claims that international banks and financing institutions have voiced their willingness to support NITC in its endeavors as the company has become the first Iranian firm to resolve banking issues following the sanctions’ lifting.
Reuters reported last month that two Chinese companies were interested in investing in NITC’s fleet renewal, but no official details have been released on the matter yet.
The announcement comes as Iran boosts its oil exports which are now standing at over 2 million barrels per day, according to the country’s Minister of Petroleum, Bijan Zangeneh.
Separately, Iran’s container shipping sector has also been making strides over the recent period. Namely, Iran’s first two ships have been classified by Italy’s RINA Services and the Asian Classification Society (ACS) following the sanctions’ lifting against the country.
The vessel pair are two general cargo ships at 15,000 GT owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) which has just made a comeback to the European ports with the first call to Hamburg on March 17.
World Maritime News Staff