GEM's Gulf Esprit Named

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
The $55mGulf Esprit - the first of 13 double-hulled tankers ordered by Dubai-headquartered Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM), the Middle East's largest independent commercial product tanker operator - has been named at Korea's Hyundai Mipo Dockyard. The 47,000 dwt Gulf Esprit is the seventh double-hulled tanker in GEM's rapidly growing fleet - now one of the youngest in the world. The company is to receive another 12 hi-specification vessels with an order book value of USD 570 million by 2009 end.

Delivery of the Gulf Esprit, which will go into time charter with Oman Methanol Company, a subsidiary of Oman's giant OMZEST Group, on a 15-year deal, takes GEM's asset value to $1.1b.

The IMO-III, N2 type Gulf Esprit is jointly owned by GEM, which holds a 75% stake, and the OMZEST Group with a 25% holding via its subsidiary Waroz Holding Co. GEM has an agreement with OMZEST to supply product transportation for its $400m Sohar methanol plant.

At a special vessel naming ceremony in Ulsan, Korea, OMZEST Director Ms. Reem Omar Zawawi sounded an optimistic forecast for Gulf Esprit and the regional tanker industry. GEM is certified by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance to the ISO-2000 Quality Management System and ISO 14001-2004 Environment Management System for the operational and technical management of its fleet.

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