SHANGHAI (XFN-ASIA) – The rate of construction of oil tankers for Chinese shipping lines is falling behind the rate of increase in oil imports, which may pose a threat to the country’s energy security, a China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co (COSCO) official said.
The manager of the COSCO group shipping research department, Kong Fanhua, told a forum here that only 20 pct of China’s seaborne oil imports had been carried by Chinese shipping lines last year.
Kong said China’s tanker fleet did not meet the country’s needs, and that more ships were needed.
‘China’s oil-tanker building has been slow due to high construction costs,’ Kong said.
He said the COSCO group, the parent of China COSCO Holdings Ltd (also HK 1919), was building seven very large crude carriers (VLCCs), with one or two to be delivered by the end of this year or early next year. At present, COSCO has 10 VLCCs.
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