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16 VLCC orders made so far

16 VLCC orders made so far
State-owned NJTC has 16 VLCCs on order at present, all from Chinese yards, with no cancellation plans despite ongoing economic turmoil.

State-owned NJTC has 16 VLCCs on order at present, all from Chinese yards, with no cancellation plans despite ongoing economic turmoil.

China's Nanjing Tanker Corporation (NJTC) has much more VLCCs on order than previously reported.

State-owned NJTC has 16 VLCCs on order at present, all from Chinese yards, with no cancellation plans despite ongoing economic turmoil.

?We will own six VLCCs and 25 MR tankers by the end of this year,? he said.

According to the source, the newbuildings are part of a holistic plan by the Chinese government to fuel work for its yards and expand the operations of Chinese tanker owners.

Almost all (90%) oil imports into China are moved on foreign-owned tankers, but Chinese authorities reportedly want to cut that to 50% and give more business to Chinese tanker owners.

The NJTC source said the main focus of the Chinese government at present is to stimulate economic growth and several measures have been announced to aid its oil and shipping industries.

"China could need close to 150 VLCCs by 2015 to meet the country's rising demand for crude oil"For example the government will give subsidies if owners choose Chinese yards for their newbuilding projects, while Chinese oil majors will pay above market rates to fix Chinese-owned tankers if freight rate levels are too low for the owners to break-even.

On the other hand, ?we will give Chinese oil majors a discount if [market freight] rates are too high,? said the source.

The source reckons that major Chinese tanker owners like COSCO, China Shipping and NJTC will handle the current downturn ably because they are backed by the government and the nation's oil majors.

NJTC plans to invest some $599 million to acquire five VLCCs, ten 45,000 dwt MR tankers and three specialised vessels to more than double its fleet total capacity to nearly 4 million dwt.

The company received its first VLCC in the fourth quarter last year and has twenty-one 45,000 dwt MR tankers in its fleet currently.

According to the NJTC website, its fleet at present includes 23 tankers in the 37,000 dwt ? 55,000 dwt class, four small product tankers, two LR1 panamaxes, one LR2 aframax and one VLCC.

NJTC is a subsidiary of China Changjiang National Shipping (Group) Corp (CSC), which is being run by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of State Council.

Reports in August last year had pegged Chinese companies to order some 65 VLCCs by 2012.

Data based on China's GDP growth of 10% per year then indicated that the country will need to increase crude oil import volumes by 8%.

2007 saw importation of 163.1 million tonnes of crude oil, a 12.4% jump from the 138.8 million tonnes imported in 2006.

A senior director for CSC had projected earlier last year that China could need close to 150 VLCCs by 2015 to meet the country's rising demand for crude oil.

Vice-managing director Zhu Ning told the Shipping China Energy 2008 forum last April that ?China's crude oil imports are set to increase between 17 million and 18 million tonnes per year.?

The top five Chinese shipping companies currently have a combined fleet of 27 VLCCs, Zhu said, which will be sufficient to move just 20% of the country's projected demand for 2010-2015.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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