Saudi Arabia’s Public Transport Authority (PTA) has raised the country’s flag on Shaden, a very large crude carrier (VLCC) owned and operated by National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri).
At a ceremony held at Port of Ras Tanura on November 23, the new vessel joined the country’s maritime fleet and became Bahri’s fifth VLCC to raise the Kingdom’s flag in 2017.
Built by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) in South Korea, the new vessel has a capacity of 300,000 dwt. It brought the total number of VLCCs owned and operated by Bahri to 41.
“Saudi Arabia is eager on strengthening its maritime fleet in partnership with the private sector… This enhanced modern fleet will contribute to the transformation of the Kingdom to the most important and largest logistics hub in the region, as envisioned in the Saudi Vision 2030,” Rumaih Mohammed Al-Rumaih, President of the Public Transport Authority, said.
“Shaden, along with other VLCCs in the national fleet, will contribute to increasing the volume of bilateral maritime trade between the Kingdom and other global economies, in addition to creating a positive impact on the continued growth of the maritime transport sector in the Kingdom and the region. More importantly, the new addition to the country’s maritime fleet comes at a time when PTA is keen to support the maritime industry in order to achieve greater Saudization and economic growth by taking advantage of the Kingdom’s strategic geographic position, as well as its coastline stretching from 2,400 km to the Red Sea and 1,000 km to the Arabian Gulf,” Al-Rumaih added.
“The addition of the new fifth VLCC this year is part of our plans to … expand our Saudi fleet to reinforce Bahri’s position as the world’s largest owner and operator of VLCCs. We are now better equipped to gain access to new markets, strengthen our presence in the markets we already operate and enhance the scope and breadth of services we offer in the global shipping industry,” Ali Al-Harbi, Acting CEO, Bahri, commented.
Currently, Bahri’s fleet comprises 88 vessels including 41 VLCCs, 36 chemical/product tankers, 6 multipurpose vessels and 5 dry bulk carriers. In addition, the company has 5 VLCCs on order.