Gulf-owned fleet expansion continues

United Arab Chemical Carriers becomes the latest regional owner to confirm newbuilding programme.


United Arab Chemical Carriers has confirmed that contracts have been signed with SLS Shipbuilding for eight, newbuilding 45,000 dead weight tonne chemical tankers for delivery in 2011 through 2012. The deal, signed this week, includes an option for an additional two tankers in the same class.

United Arab Shipping Company established UACC in July this year together with strategic investors from GCC countries. The company is part of an increasing stable of shipping firms registered with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

"This development marks the beginning of our ambitious plan to become a major player in the rapidly growing petrochemical market across the GCC countries," explained UACC Chairman, Ken Bloch Soerensen.

UACC has already taken delivery of its first product tanker, built in 2004, and has confirmed purchases of four further vessels for later delivery.

In addition to the future capacity heralded by this new order, the company is aiming to develop a fleet of medium to long-range product tankers to serve the transportation needs of the expanding oil refining and downstream industries within the Middle East.

Flush with high revenues from the past 24 months, local oil and gas producers are undertaking vast new refinery projects throughout the Arabian Gulf. The lucrative transportation of end products is a sector currently attracting an unprecedented amount of investment from the regional shipping industry.

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