Saudi shipping firm to be top VLCC operator

National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) says it will become the world’s largest operator of very large crude carriers (VLCCs) following acquisitions by a shipping fund it’s launching with Arab Petroleum Investments Corp. (APICORP).

The APICORP Bahri Oil Shipping Fund plans to acquire 15 VLCCs in three phases with debt and equity investments totaling as much as $1.5 billion.

APICORP will invest 85% in the 10-year, closed-end fund and be the fund manager. Bahri will invest the remainder and be the exclusive commercial and technical manager.

Ibrahim Al Omar, chief executive officer of Bahri, said the targeted acquisitions will join 36 VLCCs now in the company fleet and 10 VLCCs under construction to be delivered during 2017-18.

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