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Gulf Navigation seeks to grow tanker fleet

Dubai: Gulf Navigation is looking to buy one or two more large tankers to add to its existing 300,000dwt VLCC, Gulf Sheba, which it bought for $110 m in 2007. 'We would like to purchase a VLCC,' confirms Per Wistoft, ceo of Gulf Navigation Holding, 'and are actively searching for that and in constant contact with shipyards in Korea, Japan and China.'

SAO understands that Gulf is seekjng a resale vessel or early delivery VL ?" or possibly two suezmaxes - but is reluctant to pay in excess of the market price for newbuilding.  

Meanwhile, this summer the company took delivery of the Stolt Gulf Mishref, the latest in a series of four chemical tankers ordered from SLS Shipbuilding of Korea. The 46,089dwt IMO II chemical carrier is to be owned by Gulf Stolt Tankers, a 50:50 jv with Stolt Nielsen, and will be managed from Dubai by Gulf Stolt Ship Management. All chemical vessels belonging to the jv are leased to the Stolt pool worldwide, while Gulf Navigation has another four chemical tankers in its 19-vessel fleet on long-term charter to Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).

In June, Gulf Navigation received almost $75m on contract cancellations related to excessive delays in delivery on two other vessels from SLS Shipbuilding. It said it would use the funds boost its finances and balance sheet. [17/09/10]

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