Kuala Lumpur: AET, one of Southeast Asia’s premier names in tanker shipping, is making firm moves into the dynamic positioning sector. Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman, global director of shipmanagement at AET, says the line currently operates two DP shuttle tankers in the Brazilian Basin while two more shuttle tankers are under construction to operate in the Barents Sea.
“These ships are the most technologically advanced DP shuttle tankers under construction and will be fitted with twin engines and be fully winterized to withstand the harsh weather conditions,” Rahman says.
AET’s US Gulf lightering expertise allowed it to win a 20-year contract with the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) – a consortium of the world’s leading oil companies – to construct and operate two first-in-class Modular Capture Vessels (MCVs). These ships combine DP and FPSO technology into a single aframax hull and will soon be on standby in the US Gulf to assist in hydrocarbon recovery in the event of a well-head incident.
AET was founded in 1994 as American Eagle Tankers with just four aframaxes.
Today, the fleet, which was bought by MISC from NOL six years ago, comprises 50 aframaxes, one panamax, four suezmaxes, 13 VLCCs, two shuttle tankers, five CPP tankers and eight workboats.
“We have grown from a regional operator to a global tanker company with the flexibility and exceptionally high standards to match,” Rahman says.
AET has recently extended its reach into South America beyond Venezuela into Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. It is also making significant inroads into the European market and the cross-Atlantic trades. Its Asian trade is also growing with China and India a particular focus.
Rahman says that after “an extraordinarily tough few years with rates languishing at levels not seen for a generation”, AET is “cautiously optimistic” about rates in 2014.
In charge of shipmanagement for such a large global tanker player as AET, Rahman has his own views on how best to retain seafarers. AET has nearly 3,000 sea-staff on its books.
“Delivering the optimum compensation and welfare packages coupled with ongoing training and opportunities to progress through the ranks and into shore employment if wanted is one way that we continue to retain sufficient numbers of well trained sea-staff,” he says, adding: “We have diversified nationalities and they are compensated through pure rank and merit, for both male and female officers. Our retention rate is high and we are fully matrix compliant to the Oil Majors OCIMF standards.”