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Iraq's AISSOT set to grow bunkering operations after completing deliveries to 500 ships


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Iraq's AISSOT set to grow bunkering operations after completing deliveries to 500 ships

Singapore — After completing bunker fuel deliveries to over 500 ships since September 2017, Iraq's Al-Iraqia Shipping Services & Oil Trading was on track to grow its physical supply operations further, AISSOT's director for bunkering Praveen Jaiswal said Tuesday.

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In September 2017, AISSOT had completed its maiden supply of bunker fuel at Basra, Iraq.

AISSOT's bunker sales volumes are currently around 40,000-50,000 mt per month and are gradually increasing, Jaiswal told S&P Global Platts.

Eventually, the company is on track to grow its bunker sales volume of 200,000 mt/month across Basra, Khor Al-Zubair and Umm Qasr over the next two years, Jaiswal said.

"Soon AISSOT plans to commence berth supplies at Umm Qasr Port especially to cater to the needs of containers and bulkers," Jaiswal said.

"Being the second largest crude exporter in the Middle East, Iraq attracts about 70-80 VLCC's/suezmaxes on a monthly basis for loadings. Also, with Iraqi economy growing, we see good potential from containers and bulkers," Jaiswal said.

At present, most of Iraq's crude oil is being sold on an FOB basis, Jaiswal said.

Potentially, Iraq could sell on a delivered basis and manage the shipping of oil to their customers as the country's tanker fleet expands, he said, adding that this would also be positive for bunkering operations in the country.

Iraq was already strengthening its ports related infrastructure by making investments in marine related facilities, Jaiswal said.

Also, with no bunker suppliers available in neighboring ports, owners prefer to bunker in Iraq to avoid diversions to Fujairah and other ports for bunker only calls, Jaiswal said.

AISSOT currently has three bunker barges, Jaiswal said.

"As of now, we think the numbers are sufficient to meet the demand," he said.

AISSOT is also open to expanding its bunker fuels portfolio, Jaiswal added.

"Currently we have RMG [residual marine fuel oil] and low sulfur marine gasoil 2010 specification fuel. IFO-180 CST [intermediate fuel oil] can be made available on demand. We are also geared to meet the demand of LSFO in 2020," he said.

Formed in June 2017, AISSOT is a joint venture between Iraqi Oil Tankers Company and Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company.

AMPTC is owned by member countries of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) and IOTC is an Iraq government-owned company which owns and manages tankers transporting refined petroleum products.

Besides physical supply of bunkers, AISSOT also trades crude and refined petroleum products, and offers ship chartering and ship chandling services.

AISSOT has offices in Iraq and the UAE.

--Surabhi Sahu,
--Edited by Norazlina Jumaat,