Kuwait’s KOTC adds new VLCC to its fleet.

State-owned Kuwait Oil Tanker (KOTC) has taken delivery of a new very large crude carrier (VLCC) from China’s Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry to take the total number of VLCCs in its fleet to 11.

Delivery of the Al-Siddiq VLCC, which has a capacity to carry nearly 323,000t, or 2.25mn bl, of crude oil, was around six months later than originally scheduled. KOTC signed a $79.7mn contract with China’s Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry to build a new VLCC back in 2018, with delivery scheduled for the last quarter of 2020.

The addition of Al-Siddiq takes the size of KOTC’s fleet to 32 vessels — 11 VLCCs, 14 oil product tankers, five very large gas carriers (VLGCs) and two bunker vessels — and comes as part of a wider plan announced in 2016 to expand its tanker fleet. It began seeking applications from shipyards to design, construct and deliver one 2mn bl VLCC, four Medium Range (MR) product tankers, and three very large gas carriers (VLGCs).

In 2018 KOTC signed a $167.6mn deal with South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard to construct and deliver the four 48,000 dead weight tonnes (dwt) MR product tankers in 2020. Those vessels were ultimately delivered in the first and second quarters of 2020. And South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) won a $220mn order to build three VLGCs in the same year. KOTC in 2018 also signed a $467mn agreement with three local banks for a long-term financing, extending to 10 years, to finance the construction of a further eight tankers.

Source: Argus Media

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