Iranian tankers set for strong return to post-sanction Int’l markets

TEHRAN Oct. 25 (Shana) – The National Iranian Tanker Company (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.

In a statement, the company welcomed approval of the nuclear Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by Iran, and formal announcement of the removal of sanctions by EU and US, after years of suffering under the US-EU sanctions in 2012 and renewed EU sanctions in 2015.

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, read the 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.

Last week, NITC Director of Commerce said two major British and Swedish insurance companies are picked out from among an increasing number of foreign applicants to provide coverage to the Iranian tankers.

“Following the international political opening, numerous numbers of qualified international firms have approached NITC negotiating terms of insurance policies,” Nasrollah Sardashti told Shana, “They are from among the companies that used to have vast cooperation with NITC.”

Sardashti also said that there are negotiations with two major companies to resume their ties and to provide fuel to Iranian vessels.

“Several preparations are made for returning to the international and European markets. Relying on our standards, our fleet can enter new markets and achieve the planned objectives,” company’s CEO Ali Akbar Safaei told Shana earlier.

“Our post-sanction planning is divided into minor and major programs in the short, mid, and long terms,” he explained, “The plans include access to the lost markets as well as expansion of the NITC fleet by introduction of new vessels.”

Safaei also said that the company has largely benefited from the visit by Asian and European delegations to Iran after the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers in July.

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.