|Iran aims to return to shipping market||
Iran wants to return to the non-oil shipbuilding market with a $300 million potential order of 10 bulk carriers from Singapore-listed shipbuilder Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd., which may be the first such delivery in four years, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The order, which could be completed over the next few weeks, involves 10 bulk carriers that would mainly used to accommodate Iran’s huge iron-ore imports as well as copper exports.
The people said the likely end-user of the 82,000-ton ships is the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, the country’s biggest bulk carrier in terms of capacity.
“If finalized, the down payment will be handled by a private-equity fund, but the ships will be used by IRISL,” one person said.
IRISL wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Another person said the ships would be delivered in early 2017.
“Banks that will be involved in the financing are looking into the order to make sure that no sanctions are violated since it involves an Iranian entity. But chances are that if there is agreement on the price, the financing will go through,” this person said, without elaborating.
Western nations agreed in January to relax some sanctions in hopes of reaching a comprehensive antinuclear deal with Iran, but the partial relief is due to expire Sunday unless it is extended.
In February, IRISL Managing Director Mohammad Hossein Dajmar said he planned to move forward with plans to build 30 new ships after international restrictions were eased on Iran’s shipping industry the previous month.
Previously, “we had ordered foreign manufacturers to build 30 ships for us, but the sanctions stopped the process,” Iranian state news agency Tasnim quoted him as saying.
According to shipping database Equasis, neither IRISL nor its units have received any new deliveries of non-oil vessels since 2010—two years after it came under sanctions in the U.S.
A European Union court last year ruled that sanctions on the company, first imposed by Brussels in 2010, had been unfairly imposed, but it remains under sanctions as the EU has appealed the decision.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal)
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