Sadra built in 2014 another tanker for Venezuela that was originally called Sorocaima. But it took three years for her to be able to sail commercially after US sanctions on Iran prevented her from getting insurance and rating.
A tanker built by an Iranian shipyard will depart next month from the Middle East with a shipment of fuel components for Venezuela, the news agency announced on Wednesday. Reutersaccording to statements from three sources with knowledge of the deal.
The new vessel is the latest sign of growing energy collaboration between the two nations under US sanctions.
Iran and Venezuela are increasingly trading crude for diluents and for fuel that the South American country desperately needs due to the poor state of its refining network.
On June 11, a tanker with the capacity to store around 1,000,000 barrels of oil arrived at the Amuay refinery in Falcón state.
The Iranian tanker left the Persian nation at the beginning of May and is the third to arrive in Venezuelan waters after signing a contract between Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Naftiran Intertrade Co (NICO).
The agreements have given a boost to Nicolás Maduro, who is not recognized by the US government as the country’s leader, helping him revive Venezuela’s economy after years of recession and hyperinflation.
The oil tanker “Aframax Yoraco” is the second ship built by the Iranian shipyard Sadra for Venezuela, and there are two other orders. Maduro, who visited Tehran last week as part of a tour of the Middle East and Asia, was present at the launch of the Yoraco.
Once the seaworthiness tests of the 60 million euro Yoraco are completed, the maritime arm of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA plans to send a crew to the Iranian port city of Bushehr to take command of the vessel, one of the sources said. .
PDVSA executives are also preparing a charter for a cargo of Iranian fuel components due to leave in about 35 days, another source said.
The Venezuelan state company and Sadra did not respond to requests for comment.
*Also read: A third oil tanker from Iran arrived in Amuay
second in line
The tanker, which is temporarily flying the Iranian flag, had its transponder turned on this week showing it was hovering near Bushehr in the Persian Gulf, Refinitiv Eikon tracking data showed.
Sadra built in 2014 another tanker for Venezuela that was originally called Sorocaima. But it took three years for her to sail commercially after US sanctions on Iran prevented her from obtaining insurance and classification.
Following a lawsuit that saw the tanker detained in 2019 and several name and owner changes, the vessel, now named Colón, is in Venezuelan waters, according to Refinitiv data.
Sadra plans to build two more tankers for Venezuela by 2024, Iranian and Venezuelan officials said last week after announcing a 20-year cooperation plan in the fields of oil, refining, petrochemicals, defense, agriculture, tourism and culture.
Under the late President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela ordered more than 40 oil tankers from shipyards from China to Argentina to replace PDVSA’s aging fleet. But only a few were delivered, and some were lost through non-payment.