Stolt-Nielsen S.A. (SNSA) (Oslo Børs: SNI) said that its wholly owned subsidiary Stolt-Nielsen Indian Ocean and Middle East Service
Ltd. ("Stolt") has entered into two 50/50 joint ventures with Gulf Navigation PJSC. The first joint venture, Gulf Stolt Tankers FZCO, will own six new 44,000 dwt coated chemical tankers. The ships will be traded in the Stolt Tankers Joint Service (STJS). Technical ship management will be provided by a second joint venture, Gulf Stolt Ship Management JLT, owned by Gulf Navigation and Stolt.
Stolt-Nielsen will take delivery of four of the tankers - ordered in 2006 from SLS Shipbuilding in South Korea - during 2008 and 2009. Gulf Navigation will
take delivery of two additional sister ships in 2009, having taken over options previously held by Stolt-Nielsen. One of the four Stolt-Nielsen ships will be sold to Gulf Navigation, who will bareboat charter their three ships to the joint venture to create the 50/50 joint venture comprising the six ships.
Hans P. Feringa, President of Stolt Tankers & Terminals, said, "The Arabian Gulf
is the world's fastest growing chemicals-production centre. We are pleased to be expanding Stolt's strategic presence in this key growth market, as well as our relationship with our partner, Gulf Navigation, a leader in shipping and marine services in the Gulf region."
Abdullah Al-Shuraim, the Chairman of Gulf Navigation, said, "Meeting the long-term tonnage requirements of the rapidly growing producers in the Arabian Gulf is a key element of Gulf Navigation's growth strategy. This new structure enhances the scope of our partnership with Stolt and our participation in the STJS."