OSC to raise money for fleet expansion
State-owned Oman Shipping Company (OSC) is planning the next stage of its continued expansion by attempting to raise US$4 billion by the end of the year, according to the Oman government.
The move should add between 15 and 20 refined product tankers to the OSC fleet, in addition to an order for 10 other vessels announced in February, and will meet the growing demand for energy transportation.
The financing arrangements are likely to come via loans from either North Asian institutions or European banks such as BNP Paribas or Société Générale. “It is too big for local financial institutions to wholly finance the deal but we can collaborate with foreign banks to raise the money,” said Ahmed Al Abry, Bank Muscat.
In February, OSC ordered five supertankers from Hyundai Heavy Industries, the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest shipbuilder, in addition to an order for five VLCCs from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Company in deals worth $770 million each.
OSC currently has six LNG vessels in operation, plus a crude oil tanker and a chemical tanker, and the cash raised will certainly help to finance the expansion and diversification of the company's fleet into VLCCs, product tankers, petrochemical carriers, bulk carriers, LPG tankers, methanol carriers and containers.