- As Bahri Seals USD 126 Mn Loan for VLCC Duo
Iran has been linked to shipbuilding orders worth up to USD 2.4 billion at South Korean yards, providing them with the much-needed boost as they scramble for new orders.
Specifically, Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and oil producer Iranian Offshore Oil Co. (IOOC) are said to have reached preliminary agreements with Korean shipbuilding majors for which Iranian firms are yet to secure required financing, the Wall Street Journal writes citing officials close to the matter.
As disclosed, the Korean yards are expected to start building the ships in 2018 and 2019, with Iranians targeting to make 20% down payments through oil state-to-state deals to finalize the orders.
IRISL has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard for up to 10 petroleum-product tankers and at least six handysize bulk carriers.
Previously, Iran voiced its plans to inject an investment worth USD 2.5 billion to upgrade its oil tanker fleet as it gears up to restore pre-sanction shipping links.
The company is also said to be negotiating an order for up to six 14,500 boxships with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the Wall Street Journal adds.
Separately, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co (DSME) is reported to be in advanced talks to sign an MoU for at least five jack-up rigs worth at around USD 205 million each.
The post-sanction cooperation between the two nations has also seen DSME sign a business agreement on operation and technology instruction with the Iranian government for Iran Shipbuilding & Offshore Industries Complex Co. (ISOICO).
The deal paves the way for DSME to share its technology and conduct consignment management on the Iranian shipbuilder.
The move is triggered by Iran’s desire to modernize its aging dockyards and build bigger ships especially on the back of the lifting of sanctions against the country since January this year.
In addition, earlier in May, Korean Register (KR) inked a Memorandum of Agreement to establish a joint venture company with the Iranian Classification Society (ICS).
The company will be called the ‘Iran-Korea Technology Assurance Company’, with 50-50 capital investment from KR and ICS and it is planned to be fully operational in 2017, focusing on delivering of plant facility certification and engineering services.
Moreover, Chinese counterparts are believed to be competing for the contracts as well as representatives from Chinese yards also went to Tehran to try to secure a portion of the ordering spree Iran is expected to embark upon as it pursues modernization of its outdated fleet.
China’s Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. is said to be vying for the boxship order.
Meanwhile, the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has secured USD 126 million in financing with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) under the terms compliant with the Sharia law.
Majority of the loan, specifically 80 percent, will be used to finance the two tankers Bahri purchased in October, 2015.
The ships in question are two second-hand VLCCs, Blue Topaz and Blue Pearl, built in 2010 at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co (DSME) in South Korea for DK Maritime, the shipbuilder’s subsidiary.
The purchase price was set at a total of USD 157 million and the second-hand tankers were delivered to Bahri in the first quarter of this year.
The funding will mature in ten years and will be paid in equal quarterly installments, Bahri said.
At the end of May, Bahri took delivery of the STI Powai, the fifth of five Medium Range tankers bought in February this year. The tanker was subsequently named to NCC Bader.
All five vessels were built in 2014 at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea for Scorpio Tankers Inc. They were bought for a total purchase price of USD 166.5 million.
World Maritime News