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Cuban-Venezuelan shipping company Transalba has acquired its first tanker ship, the Petión, according to a statement from Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA.
The vessel will transport crude from Venezuela's Puerto La Cruz refinery to Cuba's Camilo Cienfuegos refinery.
The Korean-built Panamax ship has a 72,700t dead weight.
"This ship will generate savings in shipping payments and increase guarantees with respect to the transport and supply of hydrocarbons to the region," the statement said.
Petión was paid for using a 15-year loan granted by Venezuela's development bank Bandes.
Transalba will receive its second ship, the Sandino, in March. Sandino will have the same capacity as Petión.
The acquisition of a third ship in the short term is also under evaluation. The ship would weigh less in order to allow access to ports in Central America with shallower water and less storage capacity.
Cuban firm Internacional Marítima and PDVSA's Cuban subsidiary PDVSA Cuba each hold 50% of Transalba.
The JV was developed in order to transport fuel to be distributed under the Petrocaribe energy cooperation scheme.