One more Aframax tanker will barely impact fleet supply in 2021, but the launch of a native-built vessel will give Iran the ability to increase its bilateral trade with Venezuela in defiance of US sanctions
The Sadra shipyard in Iran is reported to have launched a domestically built 130,000-tonne Aframax tanker in December 2020. This is the second of two Aframax tankers built at the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC)-affiliated shipyard.
The first Sadra-built Aframax tanker was launched in 2017 and the two vessels are believed to be part of a four Aframax tanker order placed by Venezuelan interests in 2007. The yard required a significant upgrade to construct the vessels and work on the tankers commenced in 2010. It is not known if the last two tankers in the series are still going to be constructed.
Engineering work on the vessels was conducted by IRGC-controlled engineering company Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters. According to Iranian news sources, Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters head Saeed Mohammad told reporters “We have been able to unveil and launch the second giant oceangoing oil tanker despite all sanctions with the help of the Iranian experts at Sadra company.”
According to some sources, the keel for the second tanker was laid between November 2018 and January 2019 and comprised sections that had been commenced in 2012. The yard states it has a drydock of 300 m long by 50 m and is capable of constructing vessels up to 150,000 tonnes. The yard has a Goliath crane, but this is said to be inoperative.
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