www.1385.com，A PROPSAL by 23 members of the Thai Shipowners Association to kick-start the country's national shipping company as an owner of large tankers is to go before the cabinet this week."We will be submitting the proposal to cabinet, hopefully next week," Chanet Penjati, secretary-general of the Thai Shipowners Association and president of Jutha Maritime, told Lloyd's List.If the plan is approved by the Thai cabinet it could see Thai Maritime Navigation, which except for a short period last year has had no ships of its own in a decade, finally taking off as a shipowner.The national shipping company will be a joint venture between the government holding a 30% stake and 23 members of the Thai Shipowners Association and renamed simply TMN.The 23 members of the association have already signed a memorandum of understanding.Those signing up include the Ngow Hock Group owned by TSA president Sumate Tanthuwanit, Jutha and Precious Shipping. Notable among those staying away was Thoresen Thai Agencies.The level of involvement of individual partners will vary from pure investment to active participation.On the potential for clashes in view of the large number of partners Mr Chanet, also head of the committee, said: "These 23 members are our friends. We have known each other for 20 years."I think we can work together as we all have the same goal to develop this as a leader in the Thai shipping community."Initially the members of the shipowners' association want TMN to concentrate on the tanker business bringing crude oil from the Middle East to Thailand."We plan to start out with tankers," Mr Chanet said."Thailand imports 1m barrels of oil a day from the Middle East, none of it is carried by Thai flagged vessels."He said he company would be looking at buying a very large crude carrier as at present Thailand did not have any even, though it had several refineries.In the past Thai International Tankers owned a single VLCC."It will not be competing with any other Thai company," he added.