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IRISL: Back in from the cold

Tehran: Sanctions against Iran are expected to be lifted early next year – the nation’s shipping lines are raring to go.

The new chairman and managing director of Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), Dr Mohammad Saeidi, is readying a slew of orders at East Asian yards. The former deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation took over IRISL in August.

“We are facing a new situation with the West. There are lots of opportunities, especially for IRISL,” Saeidi tells Maritime CEO, adding: “We have to develop and increase our facilities and ships.”

On the IRISL shopping list are container vessels, dry bulk ships and general cargo ships. The boxship splurge alone could number close to 600,000 teu worth of new ships.

Saeidi says that by early 2016 he anticipates all European ports will be open to his company without any limitations.

The IRISL boss is looking at forming joint ventures with many of the top 10 containerlines and has already held a number of discussions with leading liners. Both MSC and CMA CGM have been tapped in recent months.

IRISL is also in discussions with Shipping Corporation of India to revive Irano-Hind, a joint venture that was wound up in 2013, after 38 years in operation, thanks to the sanctions.

Saeidi also reveals that fellow Iranian shipping line, NITC, the country’s giant tanker company will order a slew of ships soon too. “They are looking right now,” Saeidi says. Local sources suggest NITC could order as 20 new tankers in the early months of 2016.

This interview featured in the just published issue of Maritime CEO magazine. Readers can access the full magazine online for free by clicking here.

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