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PNSC updates oil tanker fleet

By an OGJ correspondent
KARACHI, Aug. 19
-- Pakistan National Shipping Corp. (PNSC) has short-listed two Japanese-built oil tankers for acquisition at a cost of $60 million.

PNSC said it could make the acquisitions after the finance ministry gave permission to convert its rupees into dollars.

The two vessels with twin-hulls are anchored off Turkey and Spain. One was built in 1997 and the other in 2003. PNSC declined to identify the vessels further. The company will proceed with the bidding process following successful completion of inspections.

The proposed acquisitions are part of PNSC’s plan to update its ageing tanker fleet. Except the recently acquired M/T Quetta oil tanker, built in 2005, its other vessels have an average age of 28 years.

Pakistan currently has three oil tankers, of which only the M/T Quetta has a twin-hull. The other two, M/T Swat and M/T Jauhar, will not be seaworthy after the 2011 deadline imposed by the International Maritime Organization for retiring single-hull tankers, officials said.

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