Fure Vinga

Furetank, Algoma sign up for two more Vinga ships

Swedish shipping company Furetank and its Canadian counterpart Algoma Central Corporation have expanded their FureBear joint venture, launched a year ago, with the order for two additional Vinga-class vessels.

Fure Vinga; Image credit: Furetank

The new order for Vinga series vessels grows the FureBear joint venture to a total of ten ships under construction, with the first vessel slated for delivery in the first quarter of 2024.

The two ships will be constructed at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Yangzhou, China, with delivery expected in the second and third quarters of 2026. The two new orders bring the Vinga vessel series to a total of 19 ships. Construction on the first FureBear vessel is on schedule for its 2024 delivery.

The Vinga ships are ice class 1A 17,999 dwt product tankers designed by Furetank together with FKAB Marine Design. They all have dual-fuel capability and can run on LNG/LBG or gasoil and are fully equipped for shore power.

They are designed with a battery hybrid solution and several innovative features that reduce fuel and energy consumption, resulting in extensively lower emissions of CO2, sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and hazardous particles.

All ten FureBear vessels will be entered into the Gothia Tanker Alliance and operated by Furetank out of Gothenburg, Sweden. They are intended to trade in Northern Europe.

Several trends in the market have fueled the companies’ decision to extend their fast-growing joint venture.

“We see the upcoming phasing out of older tonnage in the market far exceeding the amount of newbuildings underway. Since we launched the Vinga series, no other vessels have been introduced that exceed their environmental performance. This encourages us to expand the series, improving our customer service, while continuously developing and refining the emission-saving technology on board,” says Lars Höglund, CEO of Furetank.

The fleet capacity increase is being driven by the desire to expand into new markets and meet the growing demand for the transportation of biofuels and renewable feedstocks in Europe. This type of demand benefits modern, intermediate-size tankers designed for efficient cargo handling and tank preparation.

In addition, the order bodes well with the growing demand from customers for environmentally friendly transport solutions to complement their decarbonization strategies across the entire supply chain.

Management of Furetank and Algoma Central; Image credit Furetank

“The closer we get to the delivery of our first FureBear newbuild, the more confident we are that our JV with Furetank will yield superior long-term results. We see a need for more Vinga tankers to ensure that we can support customer demand into the coming years and even decades, and with a best-in-class environmentally friendly design that will stand the test of time,” says Gregg Ruhl, President and CEO of Algoma Central Corporation.

The first generation of Vinga vessels entered the market in 2018, and according to Höglund the vessels have been very well received in the market and proven to function far beyond the company’s expectations.

“The first ship has been operating for five years, the main engine running for 25,000 hours and not missing a single day in service because of technical issues. With that in mind, it is amazing to have found a business partner like Algoma who wants to join forces, place the investments, and continue this journey with us,” says Höglund.

“Our aspiration is to grow FureBear only as large as it needs to be to meet the market demand of our customers. This is not an asset play; it is a customer service play, which has always been at the heart of what we do at Algoma and now with our partners,” Ruhl concludes.