State-owned Kuwait Oil Tanker Co. (KOTC) plans to order six new oil tankers including four giant crude vessels at a cost of $800 million, the company chief said in comments published Wednesday.
Nabeel Buresli told Al-Rai newspaper the firm plans to award the contract to Japanese or South Korean shipbuilders in the first half of this year and warned the price could increase as global costs were on the rise.
It will take three years to build the four very large crude carriers (VLCCs) and two large petroleum products tankers, Buresli said.
This will be the second of three-phase modernisation plan that began several years ago.
In the first phase which ended last year, KOTC bought nine vessels at a cost of $600 million which included two VLCCs each with a capacity of over 300,000 metric tonnes and sold six old ones.
KOTC fleet currently stands at 26 ships, including eight VLCCs, 14 products vessels and four LPG tankers with a total annual capacity of 3.5 million metric tonnes, Buresli said.
The company plans to sell this year between four and six old vessels, he said.
The third phase will start in 2011, Buresli said without providing further details.
Established in 1957 by a group of Kuwaiti private investors, KOTC was taken over by the government in 1979 and is the transportation arm of the national oil company Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (AFP)
Kuwait state firm to order six oil tankers: report