Iraq ready to launch second new oil tanker

Jan. 25, 2008 at 1:34 PM
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BASRA, Iraq, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Iraq's key oil port will celebrate Sunday with the inauguration of the second of a growing fleet of new oil tankers.

"The ministry will inaugurate the Furat oil tanker with a total capacity of 14,000 tons," Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad told the Voices of Iraq news agency.

A larger tanker -- the third in the fleet expansion -- with a more than 18,000 ton capacity will be launched within three months, he said.

The Iraqi Oil Tanker Co., established 25 years ago, contracted with a Chinese manufacturer in its first expansion since the Iraq-Iran war.

The first, launched last month, was also a 14,000 ton capacity tanker.

IOTC controls 22 vessels, from 1,500 tons to 155,000 tons capacity, but is in need of new models because of disrepair.

"The company took all necessary measures to ensure that the three tankers are well operated and signed a contract with a Norwegian company to train Iraqi staff," Jihad said at the launch of the first new tanker.

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