EghtesadOnline: Managing Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines Mohammad Saeedi said on Saturday the first of 10 new ships ordered by his company from Hyundai Heavy Industries will be delivered in March 2018.
“As of then, the South Korean company's delivery will average one ship every 45 days,” he said.
Noting that four of these vessels are container ships with a capacity of over 14,500 TEU, Saeedi said IRISL’s fleet currently includes 150 commercial vessels carrying 5.2 million tons of goods, IRNA reported.
"When the new ships are added, the company’s standing among world’s largest shipping lines will improve to 16th or 17th from the current 20th," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
In December 2016, IRISL signed its first post-sanctions shipbuilding deal worth $650 million with HHI, the largest ship manufacturer in the world, based on which the South Korean heavyweight will build 14,500 TEU container ships and 49,000 DWT tankers with the funds provided by South Korean banks and financial institutions.
The deal was part of plans by IRISL and Iranian Offshore Oil Company, a subsidiary of state oil company National Iranian Oil Company, to spend a total of up to $2.5 billion to modernize the country’s fleets.
Iranian shipping companies have not modernized their fleets since 2006, when the United Nations imposed wide-ranging sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program.
The sanctions began to be gradually rolled back in January after Tehran agreed to limit the scope of the program. But the Iranian companies are still struggling with their limited capability to raise financing in US dollars, the main currency in shipping, and have tried to secure financing from Chinese banks by offering Beijing oil in return for loan guarantees.