TI-class supertanker

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MT Hellespont Alhambra in U.S. waters on her maiden voyage 16 May 2002, with nearly 440,000 tons of crude oil.
MT Hellespont Alhambra in U.S. waters on her maiden voyage 16 May 2002, with nearly 440,000 tons of crude oil.
Class overview
Builders: Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Okpo-dong, South Korea
Built: 2002–2003
In service: 2003–present
Completed: 4
Active: 2
General characteristics [1]
Type: Ultra Large Crude Carrier
  • 234,006 GT
  • 162,477 NT
  • 441,585 DWT
  • 67,829 long tons (68,917 t) light
  • 509,484 long tons (517,660 t) full load
Length: 380 m (1,246 ft 9 in) o/a
Beam: 68 m (223 ft 1 in)
Draught: 24.5 m (80 ft 5 in)
Speed: 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph) (laden)
Capacity: 3,166,353 barrels (503,409,900 L)

The TI class of supertankers are currently the four largest ships in the world (by displacement, deadweight tonnage ≈ cargo mass, and gross tonnage, a formula value based on internal volume, not mass). The class comprises the ships TI Africa, TI Asia, TI Europe and TI Oceania, where the "TI" refers to the VLCC Tanker Pool operator Tankers International L.L.C. The class were the first ULCCs (ultra-large crude carriers) to be built in 25 years.[2]

Compared to the TI Class, the Maersk Triple E class container ships are longer and have a higher cargo volume, including above deck containers. The previous largest ship, the supertanker Seawise Giant, was scrapped in 2010.


All four oil tankers were constructed for shipping company Hellespont by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in Okpo, South Korea in 2002/3. The ships were originally named Hellespont Alhambra, Hellespont Fairfax, Hellespont Metropolis and Hellespont Tara. In 2004 the class was jointly purchased.

Euronav NV, a Belgian shipowner, purchased Hellespont Fairfax and Hellespont Tara, renaming them TI Oceania and TI Europe respectively flagged for Belgium.[3] Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) purchased Hellespont Alhambra and Hellespont Metropolis and renamed them TI Asia and TI Africa respectively flagged for Belgium.[4]

Hellespont Fairfax was the subject of The Discovery Channel's television show Superships, episode "Launching a Leviathan—Hellespont Fairfax". Hellespont Metropolis cost $89 million in 2002, requiring 700,000 man-hours of direct labor.[5]


In 2009 and 2010, TI Asia and TI Africa met the same fate as the former Knock Nevis and were converted into sophisticated Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) vessels.[6] The extensive conversions were carried out by Euronav and OSG at Dubai Dockyards. The FSO Asia and FSO Africa were placed in the Al Shaheen oilfield offshore Qatar in January and August 2010 respectively.

TI Europe[edit]

As of 2017, the only remaining TI-class vessel and largest ULCC in the world was TI Europe, used as floating storage for crude.[7]


The class possesses a relatively high service speed (16.5 knots laden, 17.5 knots in ballast), which increases their earning capacity. The steel scantlings are greater than the class minimum.

These ships are wider than the new Panama Canal locks. They also cannot travel through the Suez Canal unless on a ballast voyage.

The coatings in the ballast tanks are protected by two features, a full-time double-scrubbing system supplying drier inert gas to the ballast tanks, and also by the white painted upper hull reflecting the sun’s energy. The inert gas system also increases safety. Keeping down the cargo temperatures also minimizes hydrocarbon emissions.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tankers International (2008). "Fleet List". tankersinternational.com. Tankers International. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Hellespont Alhambra". Wärtsilä. 2010. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "TI Europe". Auke Visser´s International Super Tankers. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "FSO". Euronav. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Shipyard Productivity". TorCon Power. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "FSO Asia". Auke Visser's International Super Tankers. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Statoil charters last of the world's largest oil tankers to hold crude for Asia buyers". Reuters. 28 September 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018. 

Further reading[edit]

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