Gulf Navigation Holding PJSC has announced that it has entered into two 50/50 joint ventures with Stolt-Nielsen Indian Ocean Middle East Service Ltd (wholly owned subsidiary of Stolt-Nielsen S.A. (SNSA). The first joint venture, Gulf Stolt Tankers, will own three and operate six new 44,000 dwt coated chemical tankers. The ships will be traded in the Stolt Tankers Joint Service (STJS), with technical ship management provided by a second joint venture, Gulf Stolt Management JLT, owned by Gulf and Stolt.
Gulf Navigation will take delivery of two additional sister ships in 2009. Stolt-Nielsen will take delivery of four of the tankers—ordered in 2006 from SLS Shipbuilding in South Korea—during 2008 and 2009, having taken over options previously held by Stolt-Nielsen. One of the four Stolt-Nielsen ships will be sold to Gulf Navigation, who will bareboat charter their three ships to the joint venture to create the 50/50 joint venture comprising the six ships.
Commenting on the joint venture, Abdullah Al Shuraim, Chairman of Gulf Navigation, said, “Meeting the long-term tonnage requirements of the rapidly growing producers of petrochemicals in the Arabian Gulf is a key element of Gulf Navigation’s growth strategy. This new structure enhances the scope of our partnership with Stolt and our participation in the STJS.
Hans P. Feringa, President of Stolt Tankers & Terminals, said, “The Arabian Gulf is the world’s fastest growing chemicals-production center. We are pleased to be expanding Stolt’s strategic presence in this key growth market, as well as our relationship with our partner, Gulf Navigation, a leader in shipping and marine services in the Gulf region.”
Gulf Navigation is a United Arab Emirates’ company based in Dubai. Its group companies and divisions own and operate crude, clean petroleum product and chemical tankers. STJS is the leading global chemical-tanker operator for the shipment of specialty bulk-liquids worldwide.