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China's VLCC capacity may soon top its needs

Beijing: China's fleet of very large crude carriers (VLCCs) will soon surpass the country's domestic needs if an expansion plan proceeds as expected, an official with China's leading shipping firm told Reuters. Concerned that its reliance on foreign carriers could be disrupted during times of political volatility including wars, Beijing has been aggressively promoting the construction of its own fleet in recent years.
China owns 27 VLCCs, but the number could more than double to 63 before 2010, far beyond the country's projected needs for 52 by that time, Kong Fanhua, a research manager with China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO), said in remarks prepared for the China Oil Traders' Conference.
China's fleet carried only 6.7 percent of the country's crude oil imports in 2000, but that share surged to 20 percent in 2005, according to Kong. [28/04/08]


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