Total signed yesterday a five year contract to charter the first two Stena P-MAX tankers currently under construction.
The new P-MAX (Product-Max) class of tankers are medium-sized, short and wide-bodied with reduced draft. They have an intermediate loading capacity of 65,000 tons, between the standard 45,000 ton vessels and the 70 to 80,000 ton Panamax. These tankers, specially designed for efficient and safe transportation, are under construction in the Croatian shipyard Brodosplit in Split for delivery in 2005 and 2006.
Mr Bertrand Thouilin, general manager of Total's Shipping Division said: "The P-Max project reinforces Total's policy of long-term commitment to high quality shipping owners and managers".
The new tankers, specifically engineered to reduce the risk of accidents and oil pollution, are the result of a two year collaboration between the technical and commercial departments of Total and Stena. The P-Max tankers have two engine systems, double rudders and double propellers for maximum reliability and manoeuvrability. In addition, the navigation and bridge systems have been enhanced for better control of the ship, particularly in heavy traffic. The bridge has a 360-degree view and a cockpit inspired by the aircraft industry.
Enhanced structural strength and ice design, in compliance with the most restrictive regulations of European countries, will also allow the P-MAX tankers to follow ice-breakers in ice up to 80 cm thick.
Mr Dan Sten Olsson, CEO of the Stena Group stated: "Our objective of providing ever safer tanker transportation is best met by close cooperation with the most demanding oil majors. In our group we have had the highest focus on this project and both I and the Chairman of Stena Maritime in France, Mr Jean-Paul Parayre have been involved".
Mr Lars Carlsson, President of Concordia Maritime (owners of the vessels), added: "Good transportation systems which are both economically viable and environmentally sound have been the ambition of the Total/Stena working teams".