Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the country has received an “advanced” oil tanker from Iran as part of a bilateral contract amid increasing cooperation between Tehran and Caracas in various fields.
“We have just received a ship with the most advanced engineering and technology in the world,” Maduro said according to Venezuelan state TV. He said that the ship was manufactured by Iran upon Venezuela’s order.
The oil tanker “now comes to serve as a cargo ship for our revolutionary PDVSA,” he added.
This is the third Iran-made oil tanker delivered to Venezuela. The South American country received the second tanker on June 11, 2022.
The second tanker was of Aframax type with a deadweight between 80,000 and 120,000 metric tons (mt) which can carry 113,000 mt or 750,000 barrels of oil. The 250-meter-long vessel is equipped with a 21,000 horsepower engine and three diesel generators that are capable of producing 900 kilowatts of electricity.
Maduro said in June that the fourth tanker will also join the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company (PDVSA) in 2024, marking the conclusion of a 2006-signed contract on four oil tankers between the two states.
The tankers are produced by Iran Marine Industrial Company (Sadra) located along the Persian Gulf coast in Bushehr province.
The delivery comes as both Iran and Venezuela are under severe economic sanctions imposed by the United States. Tehran and Caracas have expanded cooperation in recent years, especially in the field of energy, to neutralize Washington’s unilateral measures.
The Venezuelan president made an official visit to Iran in June, inking a 20-year partnership agreement aimed at improving bilateral cooperation in various fields such as technology, agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemicals, tourism as well as culture.
The ceremony to deliver the second oil tanker was held during this visit with presidents of the two nations in attendance.
Addressing the event, Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi hailed Venezuela as a “friendly and brotherly” country, adding, “In a situation where the enemies of Iran and Venezuela are trying to impede the progress of the free nations of Iran and Venezuela by imposing severe restrictions and sanctions, the delivery of the 113,000-ton tanker built by Iranian engineers and shipbuilding industries to Venezuela is an example of Iran's high capacity and capability in exporting technical and engineering services to the world and proving the efficiency of the policy of the resistance economy.”
For his part, Maduro hailed the cooperation with Iran, saying, “The production of the tanker for the Venezuelan state oil company was Commander Chavez's plan to strengthen our country's oil industry, to make it self-sufficient in the face of all foreign aggression.”
“The construction of this modern and strong ship shows the high capability of the extraordinary and admirable industry of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said, adding, “Iran is one of the emerging powers of the 21st century and the construction of this ship is one of the practical and clear signs of this emerging power.”