UAE-based shipping company Gulf Navigation Holding yesterday entered into two 50-50 joint ventures with Stolt-Nielsen Indian Ocean and Middle East Service, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Stolt-Nielsen group.
The first venture, Gulf Stolt Tankers FZCO, will own six new 44,000 deadweight tonnage coated chemical tankers.
The ships will be traded in the Stolt Tankers Joint Service. Technical ship management will be provided by the second venture, Gulf Stolt Ship Management.
Stolt-Nielsen will take delivery of four of the tankers - ordered in 2006 from SLS Shipbuilding in South Korea – during 2008 and 2009.
Gulf Navigation will take delivery of two sister ships in 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.
"This is part of our strategy to optimally use our ships in order to boost our returns," Abdullah Al Shuraim, Chairman of Gulf Navigation, told Emirates Business. "The agreement will help us to meet the long-term tonnage requirements of the rapidly growing producers in the Arabian Gulf."
"Gulf Navigation's growth strategy is focused mainly on building relationships with key organisations within the region as well as internationally. The company will continue to identify potential acquisitions, partnerships and strategic alliances in order to enhance its position in the industry."
Stolt-Nielsen is based in Norway and Luxembourg and is one of the world's leading providers of transportation services for bulk liquid chemicals, edible oils, acids and other specialty liquids.
The company provides integrated transportation solutions through the parcel tanker, tank container, terminal, rail and barge services of its Stolt Tankers and Terminals and Stolt Tank Containers divisions.