New Ethiopian ships to carry petroleum in early 2014

Crude-oil-vessel21 October 2013, Addis Ababa – The Ethiopian Shipping Lines & Logistics Service Enterprise’s (ESLSE) two new petroleum carrying ships will finally go into business in early 2014. This comes after a year of carrying other goods, pending a deal to be concluded with the Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise (EPE).

To date, petroleum suppliers in the Gulf were also responsible for transporting the product. As the current contract is now approaching its closing date, the EPE has told these suppliers to make their new offers excluding transport, said Abayneh Awol, fuel supply manager at the EPE. These companies include – Kuwait Independent Petroleum Corporation and the Saudi-based Bekri International Petroleum. The Sudanese Petroleum Corporation supplies an overland transport service.

The shipping enterprise ordered a total of nine vessels fromChina, at a total cost of 300 million dollars, in 2010. They have already received eight of them, with the last one expected to arrive within a month. Two, named Bahir Dar and Hawassa, were made specifically to take over petroleum transport for the Gulf companies. They arrived in November 2012 and have been on chartering contracts. The ESLSE and the EPE are now negotiating the transport price, Abayneh said.

“We already informed our suppliers that we want to handle the transport ourselves,” Abayneh said.

The two ships, which cost 73 million dollars, have the capacity to transport 1,500tn each. These vessels are currently transporting goods in a trap-shipment – meaning they transport goods on a variety of lines, based on demand.

Except Benzene, which accounts for around 75pc of the total consumption of the country and is imported fromSudan, the country imports fuel oil, kerosene, diesel and other petroleum products fromKuwait,Saudi Arabiaand other Gulf countries. These are shipped to and from where the ESLSE’s petroleum carriers will be operating, according to their true calling.

“Hopefully, we will start by the beginning of the new fiscal year,” said Alemu Ambaye, chief engineer and deputy CEO of shipping services at the ELSE.

The ESLSE is also taking over from TDS, a Djiboutian company, on the task of assigning trucks which transport other commodities fromDjiboutito theModjoDryPortand Addis Abeba, as of October 28, 2013. These companies will carry a quintal for 82Br and 89Br, fromDjiboutito Modjo and Modjo to Addis Abeba, respectively.

This is following an agreement theEnterprisesigned with the Trans, Comet, Tikur Abay, Bekelcha, United, Star andAfricacargo transport companies on Monday, October 7, 2013.

The Djiboutian company, TDS, has been assigning the task of transporting goods to theModjoDryPortsince July 2012. This came following excessive delays, but it has failed to assign transporters from both countries fairly, according to Ahmed Tusa, CEO of the ESLSE.

Now transporters will have the opportunity to go toDjiboutiup to five times a month, which was unthinkable previously, according to Tewoldebirhan Alemayehu, United Freight Transport Associations general manager.

With 130 vehicles, Djiboutians are also allowed to take a share in transporting Ethiopian commodities from theportofDjibouti. But they demanded a 30pc share at the bilateral meeting the two countries held in late June 2013, which was not accepted by the Ethiopian government.

– Addis Fortune

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