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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

INTERTANKO’s first twenty-five years encapsulated in new book

In celebration of its recent 25th Anniversary the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO)has published a new book which examines the people and the issues that have fashioned the history of tanker shipping throughout the last quarter of a century.

During this period - by far the most dynamic and most soul-searching phase in the evolution of the tanker - the role of independent owners has continued to grow to the extent that they now account for more than 70% of all tanker tonnage. In 200 pages of text, colourful photos, charts and graphs ‘INTERTANKO - The First
Twenty-five Years’ traces the efforts of INTERTANKO to promote the triple goals of safe shipping, clean seas and free competition on behalf of these owners.

Replacing the former International Tanker Owners’ Associations (ITOA), INTERTANKO was established in Oslo in 1970 by a group of independent shipowners who wanted to create an industry group along finer lines and with more freedom from other influences than its predecessor. It was a time that could be characterised as the birth of the ‘supertanker’ era - Daniel K Ludwig had put his 325,000 dwt Universe Ireland in to service in late 1968 - but it was also a time when the tanker industry was shifting from being an economically driven phenomenon to being driven by regulations. The grounding of the 120,000 dwt Torrey Canyon on the UK’s Scilly Isles in 1967 marked the first time the industry had to bear the full brunt of high-profile media attention and prompted not only the creation of an international liability scheme including a voluntary industry-backed oil spill compensation fund, to cover damages arising out of marine oil pollution incidents but also the first discussions on tanker design constraints as part of a wider exercise to develop the Marine Pollution (MARPOL) Convention.

    ‘INTERTANKO - The First Twenty-five Years’
is divided into four parts, i.e.

Part 1 - The history of INTERTANKO, in 10 chapters coinciding with the administration of each of the past Chairmen of the Association;
Part 2 - A 25-year review, as described in a series of special speeches delivered at the 1995 Annual General Meeting in Hong Kong, China;
Part 3 - Report on INTERTANKO today, including a profile of the INTERTANKO Secretariat, its staff and current work programme; and
Part 4 - The people who made INTERTANKO - a rollcall of all Committee and Council members since October 1970.

As Part 1 highlights, INTERTANKO achieved instant success in recruiting members. By January 1971, only a few months after the organisation was formed, the Association’s membership operated 500 tankers of 25m dwt and within a year this fleet had grown to 100m or 70% of the available tonnage. With such a broad clientele the history of INTERTANKO is very much the history of tanker shipping over the last 25 years. The book traces the ongoing impact of politics - from the Middle East conflicts to protectionism - on shipowners and details the misery of the early 1980s when, faced with chronic overtonnaging, owners had to scrap many of their ships to survive.

INTERTANKO has also been closely involved in all the major regulatory initiatives aimed at improving maritime safety and minimising the risk of marine pollution, many of which stemmed from major accidents such as the groundings of Amoco Cadiz and Exxon Valdez. ‘INTERTANKO - The First Twenty-five Years’ describes the input of the Association on the numerous initiatives that have been taken to improve tanker design and operations, including load-on-top, crude oil washing, segregated ballast tanks, inert gas systems, enhanced surveys, the ISM Code and double hulls. The requirement for double-hull tankers, or a design that provides an equivalent degree of protection, was prompted by the Exxon Valdez accident and has been one of the most controversial issues ever to hit the tanker industry. Whether the double-hull tanker turns out to be quite the panacea that politicians envisage remains to be seen but, as the new book’s review of the industry’s prospects for the years ahead points out, shipowners will need to be ever-vigilant of the threat of ballast tank corrosion in these ships. Even without double hulls the tanker industry managed to reduce the average level of accidental oil pollution form its ships during the 1986-1995 decade by 46% compared to what it was in 1976-1985 period.

‘INTERTANKO - The First Twenty-five Years’ is available free to members and associate members for the first copy and at a cost of USD 50 for each subsequent copy and to non-members at a cost of USD 80 per copy.

To order contact:
INTERTANKO, P.O. Box 2829 Solli, N-0204 Oslo, Norway.
Tel: +47 22 12 26 40 Fax: +47 22 12 26 41.