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Terntank – a shipping pioneer

In 1958, when the current Terntank company was formed, it still was a one ship tanker company. Sixty years on the company operates an 11-strong fleet of modern chemical/product tankers in the range from 8 000 DWT to 15 000 DWT. Four of these vessels are in the latter tanker class including the M/S Tern Sea and are also the latest in next-generation tankers.

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Shipmaster Jacek Mania in front of M/S Tern Sea while bunkering LNG and LBG at the Port of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Shipmaster Jacek Mania in front of M/S Tern Sea, one of the first vessels to be equipped with Wärtsilä´s 5-cylinder RT-flex 50DF dual-fuel engine that can run on liquefied gas (LNG/LBG) and marine gas-oil (MGO).

Celebrating its 60th anniversary during 2018, Terntank Rederi AB is something of a pioneer. A classic fourth generation family business, it is “firmly anchored” in the coastal community of the Swedish west coast with roots on the island of Donsö that date back to 1904.

A glance into the company history, it seems that entrepreneurial acumen and pioneering spirit has been passed on down the generations. It also provides a good insight into maritime history, in particular when paradigm shifts occur in the sector.

In 1911, the first vessel was acquired – a combined bunker and fishing vessel, with bunker oil carried in barrels. Back then it was sailing trawlers and other vessels that were installing onboard engines instead of relying on the wind and tide.

In 1923, when a new concept of distributing oil, bulk shipping, was introduced, the vessel was converted into a tanker with a capacity to carry 15 m3 of oil.

Nextgen tankers

Fast-track to November 2013, when Terntank first placed an order with the Chinese shipyard Avic Dingheng Shipbuilding Co., Ltd for two next-generation 15 000 DWT tanker ships only to extend the order to a total of four in April 2014.

Ahead of new Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) regulations that came into force 2015, the orders marked the most significant expansion in the company’s history, a clear signal of its ambition to be a forerunner in the sector and an indication of what it believes to be a clean marine fuel of the future that is available today.

The orders vessels were the first within the project platform Zero Vision Tool (ZVT). In order to cope with the higher building cost for these vessels, Terntank is, together with other participants in the ZVT, working towards Ports and Governmental institutions for a reduction in port costs and fairway due.

LNG as a marine fuel

By using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel it is possible to achieve significant environmental advantages in comparison with low-sulphur marine gas oil (MGO), which many shipping companies have switched to when the new stringent sulphur regulations came into force. LNG reduces emissions of SOx by 99 percent, NOx emissions by almost 97 percent and particulate matter (PM) by over 99 percent.

M/S Tern Sea is the very first vessel to bunker liquefied gas – liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied biogas (LBG) – at a new bunkering facility at the Port of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The newly built ships also emit 40 percent lower volumes of carbon dioxide (CO2) than a conventional comparable MGO fuelled tanker. With liquefied biogas (LBG) the CO2 emissions are lowered even further.

LNG is the first step. The ambition to increase the volume of biogas has taken a new turn, as this technology and related infrastructure work equally well for both gases. We are delighted to be working with companies that are driving the industry forward and with a firm focus on promoting clean shipping, said Tryggve Möller, CEO of Terntank Ship Management alluding to the first ever bunkering of LNG and LBG by M/S Tern Sea in Gothenburg.

Click here to continue reading this article, which was first published in Bioenergy International no. 6-2018. Note that as a magazine subscriber you get access to the e-magazine and articles like this before the print edition reaches your desk!

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