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EghtesadOnline: Poland is willing to expand cooperation with Iranian companies in maritime transport and related industries.

Poland's deputy Maritime Economy and Inland Waterway Navigation Minister Pawel Brzezicki made the proposal after meeting the National Iranian Tanker Company managing director, Sirous Kianersi, in Warsaw on Monday. The two sides explored grounds for cooperation in marine transportation, shipping projects and port operations, the Oil Ministry's official news agency Shana reported.

Underscoring the fact that Poland's purchase of Iranian crude dates back to 40 years ago, Brzezicki said Iran can benefit from Poland's maritime and shipping experience.

"Poland is prepared to provide Iranian oil tankers with services and maintenance," Brzezicki noted.

In talks with senior managers of Poland's state-run gas distributor PGNiG and the executives of refineries, namely Lotos and PKN Orlen, Kianersi introduced NITC's capacity to transport liquefied petroleum gas, according to Financial Tribune.

According to Kianersi, PGNiG officials have shown interest in shipping LPG cargo with the help from the NITC fleet.

Kianersi left Tehran for Warsaw at the weekend at the invitation of Polish oil and gas firms to hold talks on bilateral collaboration.

NITC operates one of the world's largest tanker fleet ahead of regional rival Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar, Oman and the UAE, according to the United Nations' 2015 Maritime Transport report.

  Prospects for Bunkering Coop.

"In line with plans to expand the Iranian fleet of oil tankers and supertankers, NITC is planning to increase the number of ships to move liquefied gas, including LNG and LPG," Kianersi said, adding that CIECH Trading, Poland’s largest distributor of raw materials and chemical products, is also interested in cooperating with NITC in marine transport.

After talks with Kianersi in Tehran last month, chairman of the CIECH board of directors, Tomasz Grzela, said his company is interested in investments in Iran in bunkering (supply of fuel for use by ships in a seaport) and transporting LNG, LPG and petrochemicals.

Underscoring oil cooperation in the post-sanction’s era, Kianersi said, “Grounds have been paved for expansion of collaboration with Polish firms in a variety of sectors, including marine transport and shipping liquefied gas and petrochemicals."

Based in Warsaw, CIECH Trading was established in 1987. It is one of the largest Polish firms involved in the supply of chemicals.

  Oil Exports

Iranian oil officials have reiterated in the past few months that Poland's refineries are ready to receive and process Iranian crude.

Commenting on talks with Poland's Lotos to finalize a long-term oil sales deal, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in October that Grupa Lotos S.A. had received 2 million barrels of crude oil from Iran in a spot delivery.

Pointing to the possibility of signing a long-term oil deal with Iran, Marcin Jastrzebski, the deputy head of Lotos oil company said, "After the Iranian oil is refined, we will have detailed results of the analysis, which will confirm whether we will ultimately sign a long-term agreement with Iran on oil supplies."

Reuters reported this year that in an attempt to diversify its energy imports, Poland has turned to replacing Russian oil with Iranian crude.

Iran has been ramping up oil production and export, aiming to regain market share after international sanctions over its nuclear program were lifted in January. It is currently producing slightly above 3.8 million barrels a day, according to government data.

Iran-Poland cooperation Iran transport Iran tankers Sirous Kianersi