Thun Orders Tanker Designed to Rest on the Bottom

Illustration courtesy Thun Tankers BV

By The Maritime Executive 05-13-2020 04:57:08

Thun Tankers has ordered a second product tanker designed to maximize capacity when resting safely on the bottom. 

Thun's “Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground” (NAABSA) maximizing design is built for a very specific form of controlled grounding. At certain tidally-restricted niche ports, cargo operations are limited by water depth fluctuations. When alongside the pier, the 4,000 dwt NaabsaMax ships are designed to be as large as possible for these ports' operations, sitting safely on the bottom when the tide goes out and refloating when it comes back in. This will maximize the ship's potential laden draft and its corresponding cargo lot size for these specific ports. 

In partnership with UK-based Geos Group Ltd., Thun placed the order for the first ship in the series last year, and it is under construction at Scheepswerf Ferus Smit B.V. in the Netherlands. It is slated for delivery this fall. 

”We have identified the demand for improved niche size tankers with increased performance and cargo capacity. This NAABSA-Max tanker will be built to the absolutely latest design, enabling Geos Group Ltd. and their clients’ access to the most efficient transport solution available in this size of shipments," said Joakim Lund, CCO of Thun Tankers BV.

The NAABSA operating concept is occasionally employed by merchant vessels that are not specifically designed for the purpose. According to the Norwegian Hull Club, a "NAABSA" clause is sometimes incorporated into vessel charter parties for certain port destinations, and it indicates that the shipowner accepts calling at berths where the vessel may be temporarily resting on the bottom during cargo operations. It may be found in regular use for the UK's Thames and Humber river ports and occasionally elsewhere, and it generally requires additional care and attention on the part of the master.