Oman Ship­ping plans to buy two con­tainer ves­sels

The com­pany is look­ing for sec­ond­hand ves­sels, each with a ca­pac­ity of 3,000 twenty-foot equiv­a­lent units.

Times of Oman - - MARKE - A E JAMES

MUSCAT: Oman’s state-owned ship­ping com­pany plans to ac­quire two con­tainer ves­sels to re­place its cur­rent char­tered ships.

Oman Ship­ping Com­pany (OSC) is look­ing for sec­ond-hand ves­sels, each with a ca­pac­ity of 3,000 twenty-foot equiv­a­lent units (TEUs), Tarik Mo­hammed Al Ju­naidi, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Oman Ship­ping Com­pany, told the Times of Oman in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view.

“Each ves­sel is ex­pected to cost around $10 mil­lion (in the sec­ond-hand mar­ket). We are look­ing for sec­ond-hand ves­sels,” he added.

OSC has a liner ves­sel (Gulf Ex­press), which is op­er­ated be­tween So­har and Jebel Ali, and touches the Khor­fakkan and Shar­jah ports. Another con­tainer ship­ping ser­vice (Oman Ex­press) con­nects Jebel Ali, So­har, Duqm and Salalah and goes back to Jebel Ali.

Al Ju­naidi said this is a good time to ac­quire ves­sels from the sec­ond-hand mar­ket since it would be re­ally cheap.

The util­i­sa­tion of con­tainer ser­vices be­tween Jebel Ali and So­har is al­most 100 per cent. The cur­rent ves­sel, which is op­er­ated in this sec­tor, has a ca­pac­ity of 2,500 TEUs.

The OSC chief added that busi­ness is pick­ing up now. “Re­cently, main line op­er­a­tors, such as CMA CGM and Mediter­ranean Ship­ping Com­pany (MSC) are send­ing their con­tain­ers from So­har to Duqm.

The Gulf Ex­press ser­vice was started in April last year, us­ing a multi-pur­pose char­tered ves­sel, which can carry 400 TEUs and project car­goes. “We may change it to a fully con­tainer­ised ves­sel.”

Al Ju­naidi fur­ther said OSC has formed a sep­a­rate char­ter­ing op­er­a­tions desk for Very Large Crude Car­ri­ers (VLCCs). “It gives us vis­i­bil­ity in the mar­ket.” These ves­sels were com­mer­cially op­er­ated by a third party ear­lier.

Fur­ther, Oman Ship­ping has signed a three-year agree­ment with the Shell group, whereby the for­mer will pro­vide trans­porta­tion for Shell’s crude around the world. “We have agreed with them that a cer­tain amount of cargo will be trans­ported in our ves­sels, which gives us good util­i­sa­tion of ves­sels,” added the OSC chief.

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— Sup­plied pic­ture

Tarik Mo­hammed Al Ju­naidi.

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