...also plans to launch Container Line on Asia – Europe route
TEHRAN : The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) plans to replace 49 ships with new ones within five years, the Technical and Commercial Director of the State-run company said recently.
“The company is restoring its pre-sanctions position,” said Amirsaman Torabizadeh. He explains that besides domestic capacities, IRISL will cooperate with foreign shipbuilding companies to materialize the plan.
Under a $650-million contract signed last December with IRISL, the world’s largest shipbuilding company Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is to build four 14,400 TEU container ships and six 50,000 DWT product tankers.
Ahmad Shahbaz-Beigi, the Deputy Head of IRISL Group, said the fleet capacity of the shipping company is expected to grow 50% in 2018 with the addition of 10 vessels it has ordered from HHI.
Finance from S. Korean & Chinese Torabizadeh said Chinese and South Korean letters of credit will be used to finance the new vessels it has ordered.
Iran signed its biggest credit line deal in recent years with South Korea’s Export-Import Bank in August. The deal envisages as much as Euro 8 billion in loans provided by South Korean companies to finance various projects in Iran.
Another agreement was also signed between China’s CITIC Trust and five Iranian banks in Beijing earlier this month for the company to extend a credit line worth $10 billion for supporting projects in Iran.
IRISL Chief Executive Mohammad Saeedi recently said the company has finalized $500 million in foreign finance for purchasing ships. “The total value of the finance deal is about $700 million while about $500 million of the required funds will be provided by South Korean banks,” he told.
Torabizadeh said the first new vessels will be imported during the first three months of 2018, expressing hope that the new ships will help the company reclaim its share in international logistics market. He also announced that IRISL will launch a container shipping line from Asia to Europe and vice versa.