First of all, I would like to extend my sincere wishes to you on the occasion of the New Year. I ask the Almighty to make it a blessed year in which KOTC will continue to accomplish more achievements with prevailing peace, security and stability upon our beloved country Kuwait and the whole world.
2017 had a special importance for KOTC, where we celebrated the 60th Anniversary. We were honored to meet His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may Allah protect him. He praised the vital role of the company since it was established, its contribution to the economy and providing strategic support to the country’s oil sector. HH wished KOTC and the oil sector continuous success. We were also honored to meet His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may Allah protect him, and he praised the sincere efforts and constructive cooperation between the company officials in strengthening its progress and consolidating its regional and international status. We are also delighted to meet His Highness Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister.
During 2017, the company won several international awards, including the Marine Training Award by Lloyds International Middle East & Indian Subcontinent, and the Best Marine System Award from Ship Tech the International Marine Organization for its plan to upgrade its fleet and keeping up with the economic developments by offering special services that live up to Kuwait’s name. We have also been awarded the Best Oil Tanker Operator Award by the International Marine Club.
One of the awards we have received is the "Best Oil Tanker Operator Award" in the marine industry for three consecutive years, the Best Marine Crewing Company Award in the Middle East & the Indian Subcontinent. KOTC CEO was awarded the title "The Distinguished Leader" by the Marine Standards Organization. The year 2017 was concluded with the company receiving a special recognition certificate from the International Maritime Organization in recognition of the outstanding humanitarian role of Al-Salmi tanker when it rescued 536 refugees from drowning in international waters near the Italian shores on 15.06.2014.
As to Al-Shuaiba and Um Al-Aish LPG Filling Branches, the company, through the current projects, aims to increase the Shuaiba LPG Filling Branch production capacity by the development of production lines which will be completed during the first quarter of 2018. It is expected that a 10% increase will be achieved and in line with KOTC strategy, Um Al-Aish LPG Filling Branch will fulfil the local market needs, especially the North Kuwait regions, and maintain the strategic reserve of 300,000 ready gas cylinders.
The Maritime Agency's branch continued its efforts to provide services to all tankers that berth at the Kuwaiti oil ports, where it hosted about 1,490 oil tankers, including 256 Kuwaiti tankers and 1234 non-Kuwaiti ones during the fiscal year 2016 / 2017. The maintenance contracts projects for a number of tankers were completed. The international classification certificates were renewed for all boats.
I would like to emphasize that these achievements have been made possible with Allah’s grace and with the efforts of the dedicated employees who exert their utmost efforts to raise the company's flag. We are proceeding to achieve more successes and strengthen the status of the national fleet. In the next few days, we will sign a building contract for two LPG tankers, with a capacity of 58,000 tons each, to be delivered in November 2019 as part of Phase Four of fleet upgrading. We are also ongoing in developing human resources, building national staff and expertise that are capable of assuming responsibility. As well, our commitment to the social role towards the State establishments will continue.
In conclusion, on behalf of the Company’s Board of Directors and all employees, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, HH the Crown Prince, HH the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Supreme Petroleum Council for their valuable guidance for the company. I would also like to take the opportunity to commend the cooperation and effort exerted by the CEO and MDs of KPC, the efforts of the company employees at various branches and locations for the important role they play in achieving the goals and aspirations of the company.
Talal Al-khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah
Chief Executive Officer