By Leman Mammadova
The launching ceremony of the "Lachin" oil tanker was held at the Baku Shipyard on February 21.
Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev, Vice President of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR Suleyman Gasimov, Director of the State Maritime Agency Gudrat Gurbanov, Chairman of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping CJSC Rauf Valiyev and Executive Director of Baku Shipbuilding LLC Imanverdi Hasanov attended the ceremony.
The new oil tanker will be commissioned in June 2019. The tanker's hull has been constructed. The remaining construction will be carried out in the water.
The length of the tanker is 141 meters, width - 16.9 meters, height - six meters. The deadweight of the tanker in the sea is 7,884 tons, on the river – 5,455 tons. Its speed can reach 10 knots per hour. The tanker has six cargo compartments with a capacity of 9,190 cubic meters each. The Odessa Marine Engineering Bureau designed the tanker.
In general, Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping CJSC intends to purchase over 70 vessels, including cargo ships, passenger ships, tankers, boats and other vessels within ten years.
Two RoPax vessels are being built in the Baku Shipyard upon the order of the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping CJSC.
Chairman of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO) Rauf Valiyev said that ASCO plans to receive five new vessels during the year.
He said that two vessels will be built at the Baku Shipyard, and the rest will be acquired from foreign companies.
The corresponding contract was signed by Chairman of ASCO Rauf Valiyev and Executive Director of Baku Shipyard LLC Imanverdi Hasanov.
The new tankers will have the same dimensions as the "Lachin" oil tanker.
In general, the ASCO plans to annually purchase two vessels from the Baku Shipyard each year, he noted.
He reminded that the fleet renewal process has been going on for the past five years. During this period, ASCO acquired 20 new ships, he said.
Valiyev added that the Baku Shipyard continues to build four more vessels for ASCO.
“We must constantly update our fleet in order to ensure continuous development in conditions of high competition,” Valiyev said.
The tanker Lachin is a part of the policy of turning Azerbaijan into a key logistics center of the region, he added.
The ASCO was established by merging country's two largest fleets - the Azerbaijan State Caspian Sea Shipping Company and the Caspian Sea Oil Fleet of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, on October 22, 2013, with the aim of continuing fundamental structural reforms in the economy, enhancing local and international shipping in the maritime sector, strengthening the country's competitiveness and transit potential.
ASCO provides transport services related to offshore oil and gas operations within Trans-Caspian as well as the transshipment of cargoes and passengers.
The company includes specialized fleet, shipyards as well as transport fleet.
The tanker fleet of the ASCO holds a leading position in the Caspian basin. The company attaches particular attention to equipping its fleet with new vessels in order to keep its weight in the field of freight transportations.
The Baku Shipyard LLC is a joint venture of SOCAR, Azerbaijan Investment Company (AIC) and Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited company. Keppel company owns 10 percent of the factory's shares and is fully responsible for its management and operation. SOCAR is the largest shareholder of the enterprise with a share of 65 percent, and it is followed by the AIC, which owns a quarter of the shipyard's shares.
The factory has been designed for the construction of a wide range of specialized and commercial vessels, including multi-purpose naval vessels such as platform supply vessels, as well as tankers and cargo vessels. The conditions for ship repair have also been created at the enterprise.
Baku Shipyard is capable of constructing various vessels ranging from offshore support vessels, general cargo vessels, tug boats, crane vessels, specialized vessels and passengers vessels to tankers.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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