Press TV- Iran says it plans to sell a certain volume of the shares of its key oil shipping company which is considered to have the world’s largest fleet of supertankers.
Sirous Kian-Ersi, the managing director of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), was quoted by the media as saying that preparations are made to list the company in domestic as well as overseas stock markets – a plan apparently meant to raise funds to modernize its fleet.
Kian-Ersi added that limited preparations to the same effect have already been made but concrete steps would be only taken in the next Iranian calendar year of 1396 (to being 21 March 2017), Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.
IRNA added that the NITC currently has around 70 tankers that have given it a total shipment capacity of about 15.5 million deadweight tonnage (DWT).
Last July, the Wall Street Journal quoted an NITC official as saying that the company has acquired 20 very large crude carriers, known as VLCCs, from China to become the global leader in oil shipment business. The official added that the company had a total of 42 VLCCs which can carry 2 million barrels of oil each.
However, many of the vessels are already believed to be dilapidated.
Reuters in January quoted industry sources as saying that the NITC needed to replace over 20 tankers, including VLCCs as well as Suezmax tankers capable of carrying 1 million barrels of oil.
IRNA further quoted Kian-Ersi as saying in an earlier interview that the NITC was pursuing serious plans to enter the market of shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) in cooperation with international investors.
The NITC is a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) which was privatized in 2009.