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EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Tanker Company is ready to provide the National Iranian Oil Company with as many vessels as it needs to facilitate the export of crude oil and petroleum products across the world, NITC's managing director said.

"We are all set not only to meet NIOC's needs but also to lease ships to foreign companies as our tankers carry cargo in international waters under the certification of the international classification institutes and are all covered by global insurance firms, including International Group of P&I Club of independent insurance associations," Sirous Kianersi was quoted as saying by NIOC's news portal on Tuesday.

Kianersi said plans are in place to increase the number of liquefied petroleum gas carriers to help NIOC establish a foothold in the global market.

"Issues pertaining to insurance, classification, flag requirements and certifications for Iranian tankers are a thing of the past," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.

According to the official, an increasing number of oil tankers and vessels owned by the NITC are headed to European and Asian ports, including Spain, the Netherlands, China, Libya and even some Latin American states.

The removal of international sanctions in 2016 gave new life to NITC's tanker movements that were significantly curtailed when economic and trade restrictions were in place, according to the official.

Highlighting the company's capacity, Kianersi noted that NITC operates one of the world's largest tanker fleet ahead of regional rival Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar, Oman and the UAE. Moreover, it has 42 very large crude carriers, nine Suezmaxes, five Aframaxes and several other ships, with the fleet’s average age at around 8.5 years.

"We have plans to renovate our tanker fleet and replace some of the aging vessels under a five-year program," the NITC chief added, noting that overhaul operations will be mostly carried out with the help of domestic experts, which can in turn create scores of much-needed jobs in the marine industry.

  Tanker Leasing

Asked about leasing vessels to international customers, Kianersi said NITC has signed more than 76 contracts to lease vessels to international customers since the lifting of international economic sanctions last year.

"Our tankers are now transporting crude oil for some Italian and Spanish companies," Kianersi said, adding that the increasing number of leasing contracts, which has more than doubled from the beginning of the year, indicates NITC's efforts to expand presence in international waters.

Under restrictions imposed over the nuclear dispute, NITC-owned tankers were not allowed to sail to Europe. According to reports, Iran had to change the flag and the names of its tankers to avoid EU restrictions.

NITC Iran oil tankers Iran Petroleum Exports National Iranian Tanker Company