Vela International Marine Ltd. recently celebrated 25 years of operation at a gala dinner in Dubai.
“What sets this organization apart from its peers is not the size and sophistication of the ships it puts into the water, but rather the quality and caliber of the people it puts on board those ships.” said Khalid G. Al-Buainain, senior vice president of Refining Marketing and International, at the event at a local hotel on Jan. 13.
Celebrating Vela’s 25th anniversary are, from left, Mazen Snobar, Huda Ghoson, Khalid G. Al-Buainain. Mohammed S. Gusaier and Saleh Hareky.
Khalid Al-Buainain applauds remarks by Mohammed Gusaier at the 25th anniversary celebration.
Mohammed S. Gusaier, Vela president and CEO, enumerated the high points of the past 25 years and praised Vela employees, both present and absent, for their diligence and dedication. “I can’t overemphasize my pride in our company and your role in our success,” he said.
The company was formed in September 1984 to provide marine transportation for Saudi Aramco crude oil. Since then, Vela has grown from a small owner of four second-hand tankers into a major ship owner and an industry leader.
In the early 1990s, Vela built a modern fleet of the best quality very large crude carriers (VLCC) in the world -- setting new industry standards -- in record time.
Vela took delivery of 15 VLCCs between 1993 and 1995 as well as four product carriers. The latter were a direct result of the merger of Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Arabian Marketing and Refining Co. (Samarec), which brought Vela into the business of providing domestic products and crude transportation.
Having previously outsourced the management of all vessels and having obtained ISO 9000 certification, Vela received approval to take over the management of the fleet. In 2000, Vela built a series of ships to replace its aging second-hand vessels.
In 1996, the Dubai office was opened. In 2005, the Dhahran and Dubai offices were consolidated. The consolidation was completed with the relocation of crude chartering and scheduling from London.
Vela is now considered to be at the forefront of the shipping industry and the proud owner of 20 VLCCs and five product ships.
Last year, the company had the best safety record in its history and the best record among 60 of the major tanker owners and managers. Vela continues to win praise and awards for its safety and quality programs.
Today, Vela is held up as an example of what a subsidiary organization should be:
* Consistently generating high profits.
* Operating the safest tanker fleet in the business.
* Providing Saudi Aramco with a consistently high standard of transportation.
* A progressive employer.
Gusaier closed by challenging Vela employees to build a bright, successful future, which they all could be proud of.
The theme of the night’s celebrations was family, with Vela’s employees taking part in the evening’s performance. The first-of-its-kind event brought together Vela’s own multi-cultural talent to create a night of entertainment to remember