Mohammad Saeidi, the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), says that Iran will go for a fleet expansion campaign in a big way as soon as the sanctions engineered by the U.S. are lifted. Iran will stage an immediate return to the shipping industry. The new vessels to be acquired will start operating from 2020 and funded by the billions of petrodollars frozen in international banks.
The strategy is as follows:
- Purchase of 579,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of container ships.
- Buying two million deadweight (dwt) of dry bulk vessels.
- Getting tankers totalling 1.6 million dwt.
- Acquiring Panamax vessels with a tonnage of 14,000 teu and even 18,000 teu is also on the card.
- The revival of the Irano-Hind joint venture with the Shipping Corporation of India that was wound up in 2013, after 38 years in operation.
- The significant funds in China, South Korea, Japan and India through trading during sanctions will be used for contracts for new builds predominantly in China.
- South Korean yards are also under consideration.
Final decisions will be made in the coming weeks.