(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Satish Kanady / The Peninsula
DOHA: Nakilat's strategic ‘fleet transition programme' has helped improve the company's fleet operational efficiency in a significant way in 2017. The consolidation of Nakilat's fleet to in-house management has led to increase in operational efficiency to 99.7 percent and reduced operational costs by about 6 percent, the company's annual report tabled before the annual general assembly yesterday, showed.
Nakilat achieved a remarkable milestone with the completion of its first phase of the fleet transition prgramme, which saw 10 of Nakilat's wholly-owned vessels being consolidated under its in-house ship management. The transition was carried out in two stages, with four vessels transitioned in 2016 and another six vessels transitioned in 2017, bringing the fleet size managed by Nakilat Shipping Qatar Limited (NSQL) to 18 vessels, comprising 14 LNG and four LPG carriers.
'The transition of ten additional LNG carriers to Nakilat's in-house managed fleet during the year has led to significant improvement in the company's fleet operational efficiency and reduction of operational costs, said Ahmad Saif Al Sulaiti, Vice Chairman of Nakilat's Board of Directors.
Addressing the annual general assembly Al Sulaiti said the year 2017 had witnessed Nakilat's resilience by successfully deploying strategic steps towards maintaining its global leadership in LNG transportation, and the integral role it plays in Qatar's LNG supply chain. The company reaffirmed its commitment to business excellence by taking calculated measures to ensure no interruptions or impact to its worldwide operations, and has not missed a single shipment worldwide even under the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar by neighbouring countries and the challenges of the global energy industry.
Nakilat prudently charted its course and pursued a long-term business consolidation and diversification strategy, which included the expansion of its ship management activities, he said.
Nakilat Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Al Sulaiti said: 'Nakilat's steady financial results is a true reflection of the company's strength and resilience. Notwithstanding the challenging business environment, the company successfully capitalized on profitable growth opportunities and pursued cost optimization initiatives to achieve cost efficiency and greater synergy across the organization. This, coupled with our long-term agreements with well-established charterers, has allowed Nakilat to maintain a steady cashflow. Looking forward, we will continue to steer on steadily with our strategic business plans and effective risk management to continue delivering positive value to our shareholders, and towards achieving our vision to be a global leader and provider of choice for energy transportation and maritime services.
The annual general meeting ratified all items on the agenda, including the proposal by the Board of Directors to distribute cash dividends to the shareholders equal to 10 percent of the nominal value of its capital.