Iran's SADRA to Build Two More Oil Tankers for Venezuela

Iran's SADRA to Build Two More Oil Tankers for Venezuela

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Venezuela's state-run energy firm, PDVSA, is set to order two more Aframax tankers from Iran Marine Industrial Company (SADRA) for $33.77 million each, according to an internal PDVSA document cited by Reuters.

The vessels, to be named India Urquia and India Mara, will be built at SADRA's Bushehr shipyard under an existing construction agreement.

This follows the delivery of two Aframax tankers, the Arita and Anita, by SADRA to PDVSA. The US sanctions have made it difficult for PDVSA to rebuild its fleet, but its partnership with Iran has enabled it to do so.

Iran's SADRA has also signed a 460-million-euro contract with PDVSA to revamp the 955,000-bpd Paraguana refinery complex, which marks a step towards ending Venezuela's reliance on US refinery technology.

According to monitoring firm, two separate vessels chartered by Iran's Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), the supertankers Wen Yao and Sea Cliff, are expected to deliver Iranian condensate to Venezuela this month as part of an oil swap with PDVSA.

Both Iranian and Venezuelan oil sectors are under US sanctions that have pushed the two countries closer to boost trade and help each other.

The two countries have strengthened their ties in recent years, with Tehran providing Venezuela with crude and condensate as well as parts and feedstock for the country's aging oil refining network.

A unit of NIORDC signed a 110-million-euro contract with PDVSA in May to repair Venezuela's smallest refinery, the 146,000-bpd El Palito in the center of the country, a project that is currently underway.

The companies are now expected to sign in the coming weeks a 460-million-euro contract to revamp the 955,000-bpd Paraguana refinery complex on the coast of western Venezuela.

The Paraguana revamp project will allow NIORDC to hire contractors and outsource work to repair five of the complex's nine distillation units, which do the primary refining of crude oil.

According to Reuters, the planned distillation unit overhaul will combine Chinese and Iranian parts and equipment in refineries originally built with US technology. A project to restore the complex's dilapidated power supply is also planned as part of the revamp, it said.

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