By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has attended a ceremony to commission a Kalbajar oil tanker at the Baku Shipyard, Azertag reported on September 10.
The construction of the oil tanker began at the Baku Shipyard two years ago on the order of Azerbaijan Caspian Sea Shipping CJSC. The tanker was named Kalbajar at Aliyev's initiative.
It is worth noting that the head of state recently raised Azerbaijan's tricolor flag in Kalbajar, which was liberated from the Armenian occupation in the last year's war. And now he took part in the commissioning ceremony of the oil tanker Kalbajar, which will sail in international waters under the Azerbaijani flag - this represents a great symbolic significance.
During the ceremony, the chairman of the Azerbaijan Caspian Sea Shipping CJSC, Rauf Valiyev, informed the head of state about the tanker.
The Kalbajar tanker is 141 meters long, 16.9 meters wide, and the permanent crew of which consists of 15 people. The tanker, which has a deadweight of 7,800 tons, is equipped with the equipment of the world's leading companies. The technical indicators of the tanker, in particular its displacement, in comparison with other vessels, allow it to enter relatively shallow ports in the Caspian basin at maximum load and to transport cargoes outside the Caspian Sea.
It should be noted that the new tanker is of the same type as the Lachin tanker, which was commissioned in 2019 and is now sailing in the basins of the Black and Mediterranean Seas.
The construction of the oil tanker Kalbajar is at the same time an integral part of the large-scale measures aimed at constructing new vessels and renewing the national fleet. Under the strategic development plan of the Shipping Company, 18 vessels have been commissioned in recent years. This plays an important role in maintaining Azerbaijan's leading position in the Caspian Sea, meeting the needs associated with increasing transit traffic through the country's territory and the successful implementation of oil and gas projects in the sea.
Additionally, Baku Shipyard has received an order for the construction of ten new vessels, six of which have already been built and put into operation.
At present 11 vessels, including eight dry cargo ships and three tankers, are sailing under the Azerbaijani flag in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea basins. These vessels, the crews of which consist only of local specialists, carry the names of Azerbaijan's famous state and cultural figures, the country's regions and cities. It is planned that by late 2021, the President Heydar Aliyev tanker, the Kalbajar and the Shusha tankers will be sailing outside the Caspian Sea, including the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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