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Photos: Iran launches first domestically made oil tanker

Source: Mehr News Agency; photos by Saber Zamani

BUSHEHR, IRAN - The first of four oil tankers being built by Iran for the Venezuelan state oil company entered the Persian Gulf waters on Tuesday, July 24.

The Aframax-category tanker - capable of carrying 113,000 tons of oil - the equivalent of 75,000 barrels - was built in two years by the Iranian Marine Industrial Company (SADRA).

The oil tanker, which was ordered by Venezuela's state oil company (PDVSA), will be delivered by late September citing managing director of the company, said Salman Zarbi, the SADRA managing director.

Zarabi added the production of "the Aframax ship is the first export shipbuilding activity of Iran, and we must continue by attracting more customers." The tankers will each cost about $52 million, he said.

The other three will be built in the coming months as part of the 2007 euro-denominated contract signed with Venezuela. At today's exchange rate, the total contract is worth the equivalent of $278 million, according to AFP.

Iran's fleet of around 40 oil tankers, the biggest in the Middle East, is mostly made up of far bigger supertankers bought from foreign shipbuilders and capable of each carrying up to two million barrels of oil.

Iran and Venezuela are members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and have deepened economic ties in recent years.


Related Story: Photos: Sadra Shipbuilding in Bushehr, Iran

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