Innovative IMOIIMAX Fleet a Success, Stena Bulk Says

Swedish tanker shipping company Stena Bulk has been operating a fleet of thirteen IMOIIMAX chemical tankers for a year. An evaluation has shown that the MR vessels have been a success, both in terms of performance and business.

“Utilization of and entry into the chemicals market has gone better than expected, and we have secured a good market position that we are continuing to build on,” Erik Hånell, Stena Bulk’s President and CEO, explained.

Several years ago, the company embarked on a major SEK 4 billion project, ordering the series of thirteen ships at Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI) in China. The first vessel from the batch was delivered to Stena in early 2015, and the final one in 2018.

The thirteen sister vessels trade in one of Stena Bulk’s global logistic systems, which focuses on refined petroleum products, vegetable oils and chemicals. The fleet consists of 60 vessels related to Products & Chemicals and is operated from Stena Bulk’s recently opened office in Copenhagen with support from the company’s offices in Singapore, Houston and Dubai and its head office in Gothenburg.

“It’s now been just over four years since we took delivery of our first vessel in the IMOIIMAX series and the vessels have performed beyond our expectations. Both the technical and the commercial concepts have proved to be very successful and have set a new standard for cargo efficiency and bunker consumption,” Hånell added.

The IMOIIMAX concept

IMOIIMAX is a vessel concept with a focus on flexibility. It was developed by Stena Bulk and Stena Teknik together with the Chinese shipyard GSI.

According to the company, it offers extra large cargo flexibility, a high level of safety and economical fuel consumption.

An IMOIIMAX tanker has 18 separate tanks, which provides for large freedom of choice as regards combinations of cargoes. The tanks have a Jotun Flexline coating, which means that they can also be easily cleansed and thus be used for other cargoes to quickly switch between different markets. Furthermore, the IMOIIMAX tanker’s cargo flexibility and ability to quickly cleanse the cargo tanks for different cargoes maximises its capacity utilisation rate.

“The vessels perform well in terms of speed and bunker consumption. Additionally, in respect of loading, transport, discharging and tank cleaning, it has technically performed above expectations,” Hånell concluded.

With a deadweight of 50,000 tons, each of the sister ships features a length of 183 meters and a beam of 32 meters.