With new investments, Oman wants to become leading energy shipping hub
Oman aims at assuming an important role as a global energy shipping hub with new investments directed to the local maritime industry after the launch of two companies.
Last year, according to ONA, the Omani government founded a shipping company to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) to its customers. Earlier this month, state-run Oman Oil Company (OOC) established a joint venture with three partners to launch Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM), a new shipping line.
OOC has a 30 percent share in GEM while Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) owns 35 percent and Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) with a 30 percent stake. France's Thales has a minority shareholding of 5 percent in the $430 million joint venture.
David Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of OOC said in a statement to ONA, that GEM is set to assume a global role to satisfy a rising demand for an independent clean energy transportation.
"This investment is driven by what we see as a growing need for independent clean petroleum transportation and easy chemicals based on increased petrochemical production in the region and tightening global maritime laws on the use of older single hulled vessels," Douglas said.
He added that, based on commercial viability and opportunity, the plan was to increase the fleet over the next three years. International shipping laws outlaw existing single hulled ships as they are deemed to be unsafe contributing to oil spills, which cause environment damages. GEM will operate from a fleet of double hulled vessels fitted with the latest technology to withstand maximum impact in case of an accident.
The government is also focusing on its new fleet to ship productions from the Oman LNG plant in a cost effective business plan. The shipping company acquired its first vessel, Sohar LNG last year. The state-controlled shipping line would operate on six LNG carriers by 2005. Two have already been delivered and four more are on order in Korea and Japan. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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