India has joined Japan in offering government-backed insurance for ships carrying Iranian crude in order to bypass European sanctions, the Washington Post reported.
The first Indian ship to carry oil from Iran with Indian insurance is scheduled to load up in Iran on Wednesday, a shipping company executive said. This is a breakthrough for the Indian government, which has scrambled to maintain vital Iranian oil imports after European sanctions blocked third-party insurance in July.
The MT Omvati Prem — a tanker contracted to carry 85,000 metric tons of crude oil from Iran for Indian state refiner Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. — is scheduled to arrive in India by Aug. 25, said Kowshik Kuchroo, president of shipping for Mercator Ltd., an Indian shipping company.
“This being a government of India cargo, it has a different sense of importance. We’re not doing it just for business,” Kuchroo said Monday. “India is in definite need of the crude. At a short notice, we can’t just snap the supply.”
Mercator is insuring the ship with $50 million in hull and machinery insurance, which covers physical damage to the ship, from state-owned New India Assurance Co. It’s insuring the vessel with another $50 million in protection and indemnity insurance, which covers a broad range of liabilities, including environmental pollution and cargo damage, from government-backed United India Insurance.