Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) was formed in 1957, and this year the leading tanker operator celebrates its 60th anniversary. The occasion was marked last month by a series of high level meetings at which the company’s achievements over six decades were highlighted and praised.
His Highness, the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah, received the Minister of Oil, Minister of Electricity and Water, Essam Abdul Mohsen Al-Marzouq, chief executive of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Nizar Mohammad Al-Adsani, chief executive of KOTC, Sheikh Talal Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and KOTC chairman, Badr Nasser Al-Khashti, on the occasion of the company’s 60th anniversary. During the meeting, His Highness the Amir commended the vital role played by the KOTC in pushing forward the development of the national economy and providing strategic support to the oil sector. Meetings were also held with His Highness the Crown Prince, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jabber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, to mark the anniversary.
Ali Shehab, deputy chief executive of KOTC, says,”The founders of the company back in 1957 had a vision to become an efficient and effective operator of oil tankers in the region. In many ways it was an idea that was ahead of its time, but they laid the foundations for the successful achievement of that vision by future generations.”
KOTC took delivery of its first vessel, the Japanese-built tanker, Kazima ,in 1959 and since then it has been through good times, and bad, weathering extreme geo-political storms, including the Iran-Iraq War, the invasion and liberation of Kuwait, the Iraq wars and the emergence of piracy threats. “There have been many financial ups and down as well,” says Ali Shehab,”but KOTC has continued to fulfill its strategic purpose of transporting oil and gas for Kuwait. It now carries around 20% of the total, and is a vital buffer to ensure the stable and secure supply of Kuwaiti oil and gas to clients around the world.”
The company currently has a fleet of 29 vessels, including 12 VLCCs, 11 product tankers and 4 VLGCs. Many of these are relatively new ships, following a fleet renewal programme started in 2004, which has seen 26 vessels of various types enter the fleet. Further investment is underway, with 3 VLGCs and a further VLCC due to be ordered shortly. In addition, there are plans for KOTC to order four more MR type product tankers in the foreseeable future.
Most of the newbuildings have been constructed as Environmentally Friendly (Echo Design) standard, including ballast water treatment systems and VOC limiting technology. They have also been designed to provide cadet accommodation so that KOTC can play a full part in developing the next generation of Kuwaiti seafarers. Further longer term fleet expansion is envisions in line with the KVC 2040 strategic masters plan.