COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation has established a tanker subsidiary in Hainan, an island province that China aims to develop into the country’s largest free trade port.
The Shanghai-listed company, the oil and gas shipping arm of state conglomerate China Cosco Shipping Corp, will also hand over the ownership of nine tankers under construction — four very large crude carriers, three suezmaxes and two aframaxes — to the subsidiary, according to an exchange filing.
These ships are part of the newbuilding projects financed by a Yuan5.1bn ($732m) private offering that CSET completed in March this year. Accordingly, about Yuan2.4bn of the funding will be injected into the Hainan unit.
The move marks an important step by the state-owned giant in facilitating the national maritime strategy, the filing said, adding the new tonnage will be registered under the Port of Yangpu in Hainan.
Yangpu-flagged ships are considered international vessels entitled to China’s export tax rebate.
The new policy is part of a series of institutional reforms in a master plan released by Beijing earlier this year to forge Hainan into becoming the frontline of further economic liberalisation.
In June, Cosco Shipping Xing Wang, a newly delivered 62,000 dwt pulp carrier, became the first ship flagged in Yangpu.