The US $79.7-million order was awarded to China’s Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co. (BSHIC) after approval by the Higher Purchasing Committee of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries, as well as the Central Agency for Public Tenders (CAPT).
The Kuwaiti shipping line has ordered four vessels initially for the new class of tanker. Work on the first of these 318,000 dwt vessels will begin during the first quarter of 2019, and delivery is expected by the last quarter of 2020, according to KOTC.
The specification of the vessel is designed to ensure that KOTC is in a position to meet the global operational standards required of the crude oil tanker industry, as well as international regulatory requirements governing the protection of the environment and the curbing of pollution and emissions.
This is not likely to be the last contract signed by KOTC for new ships this year.
In a statement KOTC indicated it plans to carry on developing its fleet through further projects with a number of orders that are yet to be signed.
At the same time that the VLCC contract was signed, it was announced that KOTC has signed an agreement worth US$ 462 million with three local banks to finance the construction of eight tankers in total.
KOTC has secured this 10-year financing programme from Warba Bank, Ahli United Bank, and Kuwait International Bank.