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The Sandino oil tanker, carrying 390,000 barrels of oil, has left Venezuela en route to Cuba
The Sandino is the second tanker owned by the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas Transportation Company (TRANSALBA) and represents a step forward for Venezuela and Cuba in their efforts to defend their sovereignty in the energy transportation sector.

The tanker is carrying a type of oil called Merey Mesa 28, considered to have lower levels of sulphur. The oil is en route to the Camilo Cienfuegos refinery, located in the Cuban city of Cienfuegos.

With a transportation capacity of 490,000 barrels of oil, the Sandino is the second largest cargo ship of the Cuban-Venezuelan oil venture between PDVSA and the Cuban International Maritime enterprise.

The ship will carry light oil and oil by-products regularly, reported the local press and ALBA website.

This Panamax-class ship, whose name pays homage to Nicaraguan leader Augusto César Sandino, was built in China at the New Shibuilding Yard at a cost of US$ 70 million.

The first TRANSALBA oil tanker was called Petión, in honor of the Haitian martyr Alexandre Petión, with equal capacity and currently being loaded to carry oil to the Caribbean islands.

Both tankers have the Guaraguao terminal buzzing with new staff and renovations of the terminal.

During the ceremony, PDVSA Vice President of Refining, Trade and Supply Asdrúbal Chavez said that the Cuban-Venezuelan oil venture now has 10 ships —2 owned and 8 leased— that transport oil and gas to ALBA and PetroCaribe countries, a total of 18 nations.

“These two vessels amount to savings of US$ .50 to 1 per barrel, which represents US$ 30 to 50 million a year from charter fees. It also guarantees a permanent supply of oil and its by-products on time to brother countries as well as greater sovereignty. Now our goal is to add more ships to the fleet gradually,” said Asdrúbal Chavez.

From January 2007 ALBA Transportation has been taking part in logistic operations with a focus on supplying hydrocarbons to the region and contributing to the creation of a Cuban-Venezuelan joint maritime fleet.

The Sandino not only elevates the shipping capacity of these two nations but also strengthens the economic, politic and social ties of Latin American countries. TRANSALBA continues to work towards improving access to more affordable energy resources.

(Juventud Rebelde)

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