In pursuit of being one of the most innovative and newfangled shipowners in Sweden, the family company Älvtank demonstrates yet another achievement worthy of global limelight.
As brand-new LNG-powered tanker vessel Ramanda was delivered last summer, Älvtank showcased a strong faith in Swedish shipping and especially with regards to the future of small tanker business. This turned many eyes to Northern Europe and Sweden, and as Ramanda’s sister vessel is due to be launched this summer Älvtank can count on further success.
Based on tradition
The two new tankers are among the largest investments of all time at Älvtank. The sister vessels are in turn part of a joint venture within the alliance Gothia Tankers, bringing partners Furetank and Thun Tankers together with Älvtank.
“Our business is based on a strong tradition in coastal tanker shipping, and we maintain this heritage closely with our colleagues also originating from the Donsö shipping industry. We do not see our neighbors as competitors but as partners with whom we are able to meet the global market as a strong and united force”, says Christian Nilsson, CEO belonging to the third generation of the family behind Älvtank.
With renewed faith
The competition from primarily Norwegian, Danish and Dutch shipping companies is as tough today as it was several years ago, when many Swedish shipowners began operating under different flag states in order to gain some advantage on an otherwise unbalanced market. The difference of today is that the faith in Swedish shipping seems more evident, and the fact that many shipowners now choose to operate under the Swedish flag can be interpreted as proof of that.
“At Älvtank, we intend to keep the Swedish flag and our vessels registered close to home at the Port of Donsö. The same goes for our new ship planned to arrive at the beginning of the summer this year. Registering under another flag state would be like failing our heritage and our tradition”, says Christian Nilsson.
To be precise, the newly built Älvtank vessels belong to the category of medium-sized coastal tankers of just over 16,000 dwt (dead weight tonnage), equipped with dual-fuel engines to be operated with LNG and even biogas when available. In addition, the hull design entails large energy savings which also contribute to great environmental- and cost advantages.
Challenges – or opportunities?
The strong tradition and pride in heritage is what differentiate Älvtank to many international players. This, in combination with a well-established crew and long-term experience. Christian Nilsson: “Me, my brother and our cousins ??run the family business as a central part of our lives. We all have our own experience from working at sea and I am convinced that therefore we have done well over time. Even at the most challenging times”.
“Even though we look brightly at the future and rejoice in our new investments, Swedish shipowners generally struggle with challenges that come from an unfavorable competitive situation”, Nilsson continues. “Swedish seafarers are increasingly difficult to get hold of and we would like to benefit from a development where more people dare to embark on a profession as a seafarer. Therefore, we look particularly forward to this year’s Donsö Shipping Meet starting off with a recruitment fair”.