AET – one of the world’s largest tanker owner-operators – took delivery of its 59th aframax vessel at a naming ceremony held today (19 January). The new vessel, Eagle Kinabalu, was formally delivered by Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Company and is the fifth in a series of eight aframax tankers currently being built for AET by the Japanese yard. The ship was named by her lady sponsor Datin Dr Azura Ahmad Tajuddin, wife of Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, Executive Vice President of Petronas Downstream Business, Chairman of Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and a board member of AET’s parent company, MISC Bhd.
Presiding over the events was AET President & CEO, Hor Weng Yew who said:
“The delivery of this new vessel represents our continued commitment to growth in the tanker sector. Today, our tanker fleet is one of the largest in the world and includes VLCCs, suezmax, aframax and product tankers, serving more than 80 customers in every corner of the globe. This remarkable achievement has been made possible by the support of some very important, long-term customers and Petronas is one of our most long-standing and valued relationships.”
He went on to say:
“Looking forward to the early days of this new ship, I can’t pretend that this is going to be an easy time for ship operators such as ourselves. The outlook for tanker freight rates remains bleak, with some degree of upturn not expected in the immediate future. But sometimes difficult periods present opportunities and we are using this time to focus on improvements to our operational efficiencies, to drive out cost savings where that makes sense, and to structure the business for the future. We will also continue to invest in new vessels, and I am proud to say that AET will take delivery of a further 17 crude and clean tankers over the next three years.”
Eagle Kinabalu becomes the 83rd vessel to join the AET fleet. She is commanded by Captain Asif Khot Ibrahim and the Chief Engineer is Gautam Ghosh.