Iran’s Int’l Shipping Comeback With $2.4b in New Deals
Iran is gearing up for a comeback in global shipping by systematically replacing its aging fleet.
People involved in the talks told The Wall Street Journal that the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and Iranian Offshore Oil Company have reached a preliminary agreement with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard of South Korea for orders valued at about $2.4 billion, even though financing has not yet been secured, Ship & Bunker–a Canada-based publication on marine industry–reported.
The orders are said to include as many as 10 petroleum-product tankers (each costing about $30 million) and at least six handy-sized bulk carriers (each costing about $20 million to build).
IRISL, which operates 115 oceangoing vessels with a total capacity of 3.3 million deadweight tons, is also reportedly discussing with Hyundai Heavy Industries Group an order for six 14,500-container ships.
It was recently reported that IRISL’s standing has improved from 23rd to 22nd in global shipping monitor Alphaliner’s ranking of top 100 largest containership operators.
According to Alphaliner’s May 11 report, IRISL Group’s 97,871 TEU capacity places it between Hong Kong-based shipping lines of KMTC (107,245 TEU) and SITC (88,467 TEU).
IRISL—once a global shipping power—was severely hit by prolonged sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program.
The lifting of sanctions in mid-January as part of a July deal reached between Tehran and the world powers has paved the way for IRISL’s resurgence and cooperation with international companies.
IRISL aims to cash in on Iran’s strategic geographical position and thrive as a global maritime transit hub.
The shipping line has already started calling at European ports after a five-year hiatus.