Steel cutting has taken place on four tankers for one of Saudi Arabia’s oldest shipping conglomerates
Bihar International is the current name for a shipping business established in 1973 as Bakri Navigation Company. It was the shipping arm of the Bakri Group, a conglomerate with extensive ties in trading and commercial activities throughout Saudi Arabia.
Bihar International and the shipmanagement arm Red Sea Services control a fleet of 10 tankers, two LPG carriers and three OSVs.
The tanker fleet has an average age of 11 years. Bihar International is rarely in the sale and purchase market – it generally contracts newbuildings and operates the vessel through to recycling.
The Bihar International fleet consists of two 105,000-dwt Aframax tankers with an average age of 16 years and two LR2 product tankers built in 2002 and 2003, respectively.
Bihar International has four tankers on order, two 110,000-dwt LR1 product tankers and two 50,000-dwt MR2 product tankers. All four have been contracted at New Times Shipbuilding in China. The reported price of the LR1 tankers was US$41M each and the MR2 tankers are US$32M each.
In a ceremony in late October 2020, the first steel was cut for the new tankers as part of a fleet renewal programme.
At its peak and under the name Bakri Navigation, the fleet numbered around 70 vessels, with the predominant types being Aframax oil tankers handling annually at least 100M barrels of oil, petroleum and petrochemical products, and undertaking more than 350 voyages.
In the 2000s, the Bakri Group invested in ports and oil infrastructure. At the time, a representative of the Bakri Group board said “We have continued to re-invest heavily, and are building the first private oil terminals in Saudi Arabia at the ports of Yanbu and Jubail.”
The Bakri group was also active across a range of joint ventures, and had partnered with Chevron (marine and automotive lubricants) and Italian oil major ENI (aircraft refuelling). The group also had an investment with Goltens Red Sea Saudi – in partnership with leading independent diesel engine repair specialist Goltens.
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