National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has completed the registration of Aslaf, a very large crude carrier (VLCC), under the flag of Saudi Arabia. This is in line with Bahri’s efforts to re-flag all of its VLCCs – now totaling 39 – under the domestic flag by the end of 2017.
The construction of the 300,000 dwt Aslaf was completed by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) last month. On July 19, the 330-meter-long ship was handed over to the company.
Aslaf arrived in Saudi Arabia on August 19, docking at Port of Ras Tanura near Dammam, where an official reception was hosted by the Ministry of Transport under the supervision of Public Transport Authority (PTA), during which the vessel was formally registered and the national flag was raised aboard.
In addition to Aslaf, Bahri plans to add two more VLCCs to its fleet before the end of this year.
“Our aim is to get all of our large and mid-size carriers registered under the national flag, which will help sharpen Bahri’s competitive edge in the market while contributing to an increase in bilateral maritime trade volume between Saudi Arabia and other global economies,” Ali Al-Harbi, Acting CEO of Bahri, commented.
“Bahri and Saudi Ports Authority share a common vision for the continued growth of Saudi Arabia’s maritime sector, and we are committed to providing every possible support to Bahri so they can reach new heights and keep doing our nation proud,” Hussein bin Khamis Al-Ansari, Director of the Port of Ras Tanura, said.
The Saudi Arabian flag is raised on cargo and passenger vessels after their registration. Ships are then inspected and checked regularly in accordance with the standards laid down by international classification authorities accredited by the country.