Iranian tankers escape 70 pirate attacks, ready for post-sanctions era

Tehran, Jan 13, IRNA – Managing Director of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said on Wednesday that its vessels were attacked 70 times by pirates in 2015 specially in the Gulf of Aden basin which were aborted by the Iranian Navy.

Ali-Akbar Safaei also told reporters on the occasion of the NITC 60th anniversary to be marked next Sunday that the company has plans to employ LNG, FLNG, and FTSO vessels and has entered into negotiations with French, German and Belgian firms in the regards, Shana reported.
The CEO added that NITC is ready to carry Iran’s crude oil immediately after removal of sanctions and added that insurance of tankers will be also lifted in the wake of implementation of the nuclear Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Since two years ago,” he said, “NITC has been working out its five-year strategic outlook which can be reviewed every year.”
“NITC has a loading capacity of 15.5 million tons and 95 percent of it is being used,” Safaei said.
Last Octover, NITC announced it has been in negotiations with foreign parties so that it will steer back to the global markets as soon as the sanctions against its fleet are lifted.
Although NITC as a private company has been enduring restrictions and heavy damages in recent years, it overwhelmed the limits and maintained the reputation of world’s holder of largest fleet of oil supertankers, said a statement.
NITC said it is freighting 90 percent of Iran’s crude oil exports and is ready to re-enter the European markets as it has been holding negotiations with foreign firms, mainly Europeans, including in the field of insurance of vessels to resume business after lifting of sanctions.
“Our post-sanction planning is divided into minor and major programs in the short-, mid-, and long- terms,” Safaei said earlier, “The plans include access to the lost markets as well as expansion of the NITC fleet by introduction of new vessels.”
NITC transports Iranian crude to export markets and is also responsible for the distribution of oil products to Iranian ports and island ports in the Persian Gulf.
The company, which operates the largest tanker fleet in the Middle East, also acts as an independent entity in contracts with foreign concerns for crude oil transportation based on prevailing international freight rates.
NITC, in observance of IMO (International Maritime Organization) regulations, says it has a huge project for replacing tankers, including the construction and purchase of 25 tankers with the total capacity of 6 million tons.
In recent years, NITC has taken great steps towards accomplishing enhanced management systems, maritime safety and transport, the results of which have been achieving an array of awards obtained including ISO 9002, ISO 14001 (for management), PMS (for maintenance and repair system), STCW (for maritime supervision systems) and ISMC (for maritime safety management).
NITC shares have recently been offered to the private sector.