BEIJING, Oct 28: State-owned China Shipping (Group) signed a contract on Saturday to build four very large crude carriers, part of China's plans to transport a bigger ratio of its oil imports in its own ships, state media reported.
China Shipbuilding Industry Co. agreed to deliver the 308,000 deadweight ton ships in 2009 and 2010, the official Xinhua News Agency said. State television said the deal was worth US$450 million.
The new ships will boost China Shipping (Group)'s capacity to import oil to 100 million tons a year, Xinhua said. The company currently has three VLCCs, and another shipbuilder is due to deliver five more starting in the second half of 2007.
China imported 127 million tons of crude oil and over 30 million tons of oil products last year, and crude imports are expected to exceed 200 million tons in 2010, Xinhua said. To ensure its energy security, China aims to raise the proportion of its crude oil and products imports carried by Chinese ships to 50 per cent after 2010, up from less than 20 per cent now, Xinhua quoted an unnamed official as saying.—Reuters