Iran attracts foreign investments for LNG terminal

Dec 20, 2004 01:00 AM

by Frank Kennedy

Iran has lined up foreign investors for its first LNG loading terminal part of phase II of the South Pars gas development in southern Bushehr province. It should produce 10 mm tpy of LNG when in full production.
Total (France) and Petronas (Malaysia) are to partner with the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for the development, production and export of LNG, with shares of 30, 20 and 50 %, respectively.

Iran is also privatising two of its major state-owned shipping lines by floating the majority of their shares next year.
"If all goes well, 51 % of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines [IRISL] and 66 % of the National Iranian Tanker Company [NITC] will be floated on the Tehran stock exchange by 2005," IRISL chairman Ali Ashraf Afkhami said.

"The government has recently approved IRISL and one of its subsidiary companies, Khazar Shipping, to be listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange, and IRISL would welcome strategic partners to strengthen the group'soperational milestones," he said.
Afkhami also said that following the strategy of handling a larger share of the international market, IRISL and NITC had focused 80 % and 45 %, respectively, of their activities on the cross-trading market. He said the government will soon privatise both port and logistics operations in the country.

New Suez tariffs from February
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has issued several circulars announcing changes to the Suez Canal tariff and regulations. All will take effect on February 1. The overall rise in tolls will be 3 %.
For crude oil tankers that lighten part of their crude oil cargo at the Sumed terminal in Ain Sukhna, tolls of $ 0.63 will be levied on each ton of crude oil cargo. Crude oil cargo carried by the tanker will be calculated by deducting the volume discharged at Sumed from the total cargo indicated on the cargo manifest and bill of lading. The minimum transit dues for a laden northbound trip for such vessels will be $ 130,000.

The SCA also advises that its previous circulars 8/96, concerning escorting tugs, and 4/2003, concerning surcharges imposed on tankers arriving after the time limit, will also be applicable to tankers coming from Sumed after part-discharge of cargo.
SCA also announced that its circular 7/96, concerning additional discounts on Suez Canal transit dues for excessive crude oil quantities transported by an individual client in the same calendar year via the Suez Canal, will be cancelled with effect from February 1.

SCA also amended its reduction of transit dues for VLCCs in ballast coming from the Western Hemisphere to the Arabian Gulf as follows: VLCCs in ballast, of 200,000 dwt and above, coming from the Gulf of Mexico will be granted a 35 % reduction.
Those coming from the Caribbean Zone and the north coast of South America will be granted a 40 % reduction in the applicable Suez Canal transit dues.

Paris MoU reports on security campaign
Following the implementation of the International Ship andPort Facility Security Code on July 1, member states to the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Ports State Control (the Paris MoU) mounted a three-month programme to verify compliance with new security requirements for ships. Results show that of the 4,681 security checks carried out, only 72 resulted in ships' detentions on security grounds alone.
The programme, which was held in conjunction with the Tokyo MoU, ran from July 1 to September 30. It used a uniform questionnaire to test the key elements of ship security arrangements. An analysis of results shows that 4,681 security checks were made on 4,306 ships. A total of 28 inspections resulted in detention solely on security grounds while another 44 ships were detained on security and other grounds.

This represents a rate of 1.5 % of inspections resulting in detention for security reasons compared with an overall detention rate for the period of 5.7 %. Monthly figures revealed an improving level of compliance as the programme progressed in July, 50ships were detained, compared with 13 in August and 9 in September.
Sixty ships were detained due to a lack of a valid ISSC, while a further 45 had problems with their certificates that did not result in detention. Ships found not to be in compliance were subject to a range of measures.

Frank Kennedy is a Dubai-based marine consultant.

Source: Gulf News
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