Swedish coastal shipping firm Thun Tankers has awarded a contract to Dutch shipbuilder Scheepswerf Ferus Smit to construct a new ‘not always afloat but safely aground’ (NAABSA) port max-sized product tanker.

Expected to be delivered by October 2020, the tanker’s NAABSA design is ideal for tidal restricted niche ports operation.

Thun Tankers has signed a long-term agreement with UK-based marine fuels supplier Geos Group to charter the vessel.

The 4,250dwt tanker will be built with the aim to optimise the vessel’s cargo intake and boost in-port performance.

Thun Tankers COO Joakim Lund said: “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.”

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“We always strive to meet our customers’ various demands with tailor-made solutions. With this order, we are delivering on that promise with a purpose-built tanker for our close partner Geos Group Ltd.”

Geos Group managing director Barry Newton said: “The new vessel will allow us to focus on enhancing our position as the most reliable bunker supplier in our market by bringing in additional ship-to-ship capability, as well as the option of supplying more niche ports.”

In May, Thun Tankers received the first L-Class and second E-Class vessels simultaneously.

The 18,650dwt product tanker Thun Lidkoping is 149.8m-long and the first in a series of five tankers built by Chinese firm Avic Dingheng Shipbuilding.