What have been the main areas of focus and activities that you have had as a company?
The company was established in December 2016 with a share capital of QAR100 Million. This capital was subscribed by 343 local Qatari shareholders making it a private joint stock company in the State of Qatar. The capital was raised to purchase Dry Bulk Carriers for transporting Gabbro (used for road and civil construction works) from UAE to Qatar. The opportunity and growth of local investment into this sector was based on a report prepared for us by KPMG. So, from Jan 2017 to June 2017, the company acquired 2 x abt. 52,000 dwt geared grabbed dry bulk carriers (called as “supramax") and 2 x abt. 75,000 dwt gearless ships (called as “panamax"). Since its inception, the main focus of our company has been to create capability within Qatar to become Qatar's largest owner of Dry Bulk Carriers to primarily transport majority of about 20 – 25 million mt per annum of gabbro imported by Qatar in our own Qatari flagged & registered ships. And then, to step-up to expand Qatar's role in regional and international arena in operating ships for transporting cargoes like Wheat, Grain, Soyabean, Coal, Iron Ore, Cement Clinker, Minerals etc. The KPMG report also identified potential investment in Offshore Support Vessels (used for supporting offshore Oil & Gas rigs / constructions) for the growing offshore activity in the State of Qatar. The company is evaluating its options to participate in this sector for the benefit of all its stakeholders but more particularly taking pride in playing a role in adding to our country's assets, services, and capabilities.
How did the embargo affect your operations?
The embargo was a complete surprise and shock to the very genesis of establishing this organization. In fact, one of our ships (S'hail Al Khor, 75323 dwt) was in the midst of loading Gabbro from Fujairah in UAE when this announcement was made public. Our second ship, namely “S'hail Al Ruwais" (52,817 dwt, geared grabbed ship) was discharging Gabbro at Mesaieed in Qatar under a long term transportation contract. Further, we had third ship “S'hail Al Doha" (52455 dwt, geared grabbed ship) carrying cargo namely “Slag" from Japan to UAE. Not only this, we had entered into an agreement to purchase our fourth ship “S'hail Al Mafyar" (75522 dwt) for delivery in Fujairah on/around 9th June 2017. And then add to the fact that all our ships are not only Qatar flagged and registered but also 100% owned by Qataris. I must give credit to our extremely profession team who not only ensured to resolve the company's above contractual obligations without significant damage but also swiftly changed gears to shift the fleet to international trading. Since then, we have been successfully trading our ships world-wide from USA to China to Australia transporting dry bulk cargoes like Wheat, Grain, Soyabean, Coal, Iron Ore, Bauxite, Cement Clinkers, Minerals etc. Till date, we have globally transported about 4 million MT of various dry bulk cargoes.
What are the next natural steps in order to continue growing the company?
Recognizing company's excellent performance and capabilities and in consistence with Qatar's Vision 2030 document, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) found the company as an ideal business organization for funding the company's expansion plan. So, in November 2018, we purchased our 5th Ship, “S'hail Al Wajbah" 76,633 dwt, fully funded by QDB. In the meantime, during an Extra Ordinary General Meeting of the Company in October 2018, the shareholders too approved to fund the company's expansion plan. Thus, the company entered into agreement to purchase 2 additional ships for a price of about QAR75 Million. Both the ships namely “S'hail Al Rayan" (76,629 dwt) and “S'hail Al Dukhan" (74,143 dwt) will be delivered to us during June 2019. This will increase the company's fleet to 7 ships and dwt to 483,522 thereby enhancing the cargo carrying capacity and the revenue. With the on-going increase in company's exposure in transporting global dry bulk commodities, the organization is currently also engaged in identifying opportunities to diversify into other segments of shipping and maritime sectors, particularly “Offshore Support Vessels" required under long term contracts by Qatar state-owned companies and/or oil majors based in Qatar.