Venezuela will contract with an Iranian shipyard to build two oil tankers under an existing construction agreement bedeviled by payment delays and difficulties with needed certifications, according to people familiar with the matter and documents.
Venezuela’s state-run energy firm PDVSA since last year has redoubled efforts to buy and lease oil tankers to rebuild its own fleet. Its maritime operations have suffered from a long-standing lack of capital and U.S. sanctions that have made it difficult to obtain insurance and receive classifications essential to navigate in international waters.
The two new Aframax tankers, to be named India Urquia and India Mara, will cost 31.66 million euros ($33.77 million) each, an internal PDVSA document detailing the proposed agreement showed.
The vessels will be built by Iran Marine Industrial Company (SADRA) at its Bushehr shipyard, which built two previous vessels for PDVSA, the Aframaxes Arita and Anita, that can each carry 500,000-800,000 barrels of oil.
“(Construction of) the India Urquia must start soon,” one of the sources said.
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